One late night in August 2008 I was enjoying dinner at the home of a college friend in Tehran when I received a worried phone call from my research assistant. Mehdi was breathless and wanted to know if I was ok.

In my work on apophatic mysticism and philosophies of the unsayable, I have often encountered outstanding figures of genius who have made unmistakable the eminent role that Muslims have played in developing knowledge.

The town of Wytheville in rural southwest Virginia looks like the mythic American ‘Main Street’ studding the discourse of American political actors and media during campaign season.

Ignorance in its literal sense simply means absence of knowledge, as in the Latin, legal term ‘ignoramus’ – meaning ‘we do not know’.

I’m writing this sitting alone on the eighth floor of the Can of Ham. You may have guessed, even if you don’t keep up with the vernacular names of the latest office towers to sprout in the City of London, that yes, it’s a building.

Many questions have kept me from the release and peace that follows my head hitting the pillow at night. More recently, I have spent many a twilight hour pondering if Russian President Vladimir Putin has ever read Sylvia Plath.