Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born in Tehran in 1933 and received his early education in Tehran, Iran with special emphasis upon classical education in religion, Persian literature, etc. He has a B. A. from M. I. T. in Physics and Mathematics (with honors), an M. S. from Harvard University in Geology and Geophysics and a Ph. D. from Harvard University in the History of Science and Philosophy with emphasis upon Islamic science. He is presently University Professor of Islamic Studies, George Washington University.
His educational and cultural experiences include: He was professor at Tehran University for 20 years and President of Arya Mehr University from 1972-75. Chief advisor of al-Furqan Foundation in the UK (1991), he was responsible for the Exhibition of Islamic Science, London Science Museum (1976), member of organizing committee of the First Muslim World Educational Conference in Mecca (1975-1977), the founder and first president of Iranian Academy of Philosophy (1974-1979), the vice-chancellor, Tehran University (1970-1971), Dean, Faculty of Letters, Tehran University (1968-1972), the first Chairman of the Board of Governors of the RCD (Iran-Pakistan-Turkey) Cultural Institute and external examiner in the field of philosophy for several universities in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia (1959-present).
He has lectured extensively throughout the Islamic world, Western Europe, North and Central America, India, Japan, and Australia and participated in numerous conferences and congresses on Islam, philosophy, comparative religion and the environmental crisis. The following famous lectures have also been delivered: Paul Watson Lecture, University of San Francisco (1995), Burke Lecture, University of California in San Diego (1995), Cadbury Lectures, Birmingham University (1994), First Loy H. Witherspoon Lecturer, University of North Carolina (1985), Wiegand Lecture, University of Toronto (1983), Gifford Lectures, University of Edinburgh (the first Muslim ever to give this most famous and prestigious of lectures in the West on religion), Azad Memorial Lecture, India (1975), Charles Strong Memorial Lectures, Australia (1970), and Iqbal Lecture, Pakistan (1966).
Besides being the author of over twenty books and over two hundred articles, many translated into numerous languages from the original English and Persian (and occasionally French and Arabic), many research projects have been organized and managed. These include participation in the Dehkhoda Encyclopedia (a vast encyclopedia in Persian), the three volume Lexicon of Persian Culture, The Encyclopedia of World Spirituality, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and the Annotated Bibliography of Islamic Science of which two of the seven projected volumes were printed before events in 1979 in Iran which put an end, for the time being, to is continuation (volume three appeared in 1991).
In regard to honors, he is a member of the Royal Academy of Jordan, patron of Selly Oaks Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding, a volume of Library of Living Philosophers dedicated to his works and thought, member of Temenos Academy, A. D. White Professor-at-Large in Islamics, Cornell University (1991-1997), member of the Greek Academy of Philosophy, ten year member of Board of Directors of Federations Internationales des Societes Philosophiques (FISP), member of Institut International de Philosophie, honorary doctorate, University of Uppsala and Lehigh University, the Arabic translation of Islamic Science was nominated for the Faisal Award.