Robert Tappan

Assistant Professor

Robert Tappan

Contact Information

PHONE
OFFICE
LA 3139

Education

Ph.D., Religious Studies: Islamic Studies, University of Virginia, 2011

M.A., Religious Studies: Islamic Studies, University of Virginia, 2010

B.A., Religious Studies, University of Redlands, 1997

Areas of Expertise

Islamic ethics, theology, and law, with a special emphasis on Shi`i thought

Bioethics

Animal and environmental ethics

Gender and Embodiment in Religion

Biography

Bob Tappan received his PhD from the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia in 2011. His work focuses on Islamic ethics, theology, and law, with a special emphasis on Shi`i thought. Particular areas of ethical interest include bioethics, animal and environmental ethics, and the ethics of war and peace. His publications include “More Than Fatwas: Ethical Decision Making in Iranian Fertility Clinics,” in Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Sunni and Shia Perspectives (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012), and entries on “Abortion,” “AIDS,” “Animals,” “Dietary Rules,” “Ethics,” “Family Planning,” “Health Care,” and “Medicine” in the Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States (Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 2007). He is currently preparing a manuscript based on his PhD dissertation “Beyond Clerics and Clinics: Islamic Bioethics and Assisted Reproductive Technology in Iran.” He is also a member of the Science and the Human Person Working Group as part of the Contending Modernities project, based out of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has lived in or visited numerous Muslim countries, including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Qatar, Iran, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Professor Tappan teaches a range of courses at Towson in comparative religion, Islamic studies, and religious ethics, including: RLST 203: Introduction to Islam; RLST 206 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; RLST 305/505: Faith Perspectives in Medical Ethics; RLST 313 Islamic Ethics; RLST 363 Sufism: Islamic Mysticism; and RLST 367: Islam in the Modern Age.

Selected Publications

  • “Islamic Bioethics and Animal Research: The Case of Iran,” in Journal of Religious Ethics, 45 (3), September 2017

  • “Third-Party Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Iran: Human Dignity and Gender in Islamic Bioethics,” in Human Personhood in Comparative Perspective (forthcoming)

  • “Gender” and “Infertility” entries in the Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

  • “More Than Fatwas: Ethical Decision Making in Iranian Fertility Clinics,” in Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Sunni and Shia Perspectives, Berghahn Books, 2012
  • "Abortion," "AIDS," "Animals," "Dietary Rules," "Ethics," "Family Planning," "Health Care," "Medicine," in Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, Greenwood Press, 2007