James E. Lindsay





I joined the Department of History at Colorado State University in 1996. My teaching repertoire includes courses on pre-modern and modern Middle East history. My research is focused on the history and historiography of the Islamic Near East in the middle ages.


I am the director of the Religious Studies Interdisciplinary Minor. The Minor encompasses the major religious traditions of humankind. It enables students to integrate a field of special interest from offerings in religious studies and related areas. Students can study religion as viewed by different disciplines; e.g., philosophy, anthropology, history, liberal arts, music, sociology, and psychology. In addition, the program encourages students to view religious phenomena in their cultural context through the media of music and the arts.


I am also the Academic Coordinator for Colorado State University's Office of Defense Engagement (ODE). One of my principal responsibilities is overseeing the ODE’s three Graduate Certificates in Applied Global Stability: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Water Resources. The Graduate Certificates in Applied Global Stability (AGS) are designed to provide knowledge about global stability to non-commissioned officers and company- and field-grade officers in the Special Operations and Civil Affairs communities as well as other professionals in the Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, Peace Corps and other entities working to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. CSU graduate students are encouraged enroll in an AGS certificate that meets their professional goals and aspirations as well. Each AGS certificate requires 12 credits and can be completed on campus or online. The certificate program is administered by CSU’s Office of Defense Engagement through the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.


Courses I teach regularly:

HIST 115 The Islamic World: Late Antiquity to 1500

HIST 431 Ancient Israel

HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur'an

HIST 433 Muhammad and the Origins of Islam

HIST 435 Jihad and Reform in Islamic History

HIST 436 Canaan/Israel/Palestine: Past and Present

HIST 438 The Modern Middle East


Courses I teach only occasionally:

HIST 492 Capstone Seminar

HIST 532 Reading Seminar: Middle East


The Intensification and Reorientation of Sunni Jihad Ideology in the Crusader Period: Ibn ‘Asakir of Damascus (1105–1176) and His Age; with an edition and translation of Ibn ‘Asakir’s The Forty Hadiths for Inciting Jihad (co-authored with Suleiman A. Mourad). Leiden: Brill, 2013. (Issued in paperback in 2015.)

Historical Dimensions of Islam: Pre-Modern and Modern Periods--Essays in Honor of R. Stephen Humphreys (co-edited with Jon Armajani). Princeton: Darwin Press, 2009.

Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005 (Issued in paperback by Hackett Publishing, 2008; translated and published in Arabic by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Kalima, 2012.)

Ibn ‘Asakir and Early Islamic History (ed.). Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam, no. 20. Princeton: Darwin Press, 2001.



  • HIST 432 Sacred History in the Bible and the Qur’an (Fall 2019; TR 8:00-9:15; Stadium 1214)


    This course examines competing conceptions of sacred history in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. We will examine these issues through a comparative analysis of biblical figures that all three traditions venerate. We will also examine competing conceptions of Jesus and Muhammad in Christianity and Islam. In addition to relevant excerpts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, and Qur’an, students will be expected to analyze classical Jewish, Christian, and Islamic exegesis of these texts, for it is only through this interpretive literature that we can understand the historical development of traditional Jewish, Christian, and Islamic conceptions of sacred history.

  • HIST 201 Approaches to History: The Crusades (Fall 2019; TR 9:30-10:45; Stadium 1214)


    This seminar explores issues of religion, politics, warfare, and inter-communal relations in Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Near East, c. 1050-1300. At the same time, the course considers the field of history and the skills involved in its practice. Students will use the foundations of historical methodology—especially careful analysis of primary sources (Frankish, Byzantine, Muslim, Jewish) and modern historiography—to uncover the motivations and personalities that animate this fascinating period in world history.

  • HIST 435 Jihad and Reform in Islamic History (Spring 2020)

    Jihad and reform in classical and modern Islamic thought and practice.

  • HIST 436 Canaan/Israel/Palestine: Past & Present (Spring 2020)

    Diverse physical geography, rich material culture, and complex history of the land of Canaan/Israel/Palestine—ancient, medieval, and modern.