Oludamini Ogunnaike is Assistant Professor of African Religious Thought and Democracy at the University of Virginia, co-director of the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and a faculty partner with the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab. His research examines the philosophical and artistic dimensions of postcolonial, colonial, and pre-colonial Islamic and indigenous religious traditions of West and North Africa, especially Sufism and Ifa. He is the author of Deep Knowledge: Ways of Knowing in Sufism and Ifa, Two West African Intellectual Traditions (Penn State University Press, 2020) and Poetry in Praise of Prophetic Perfection: West African Madīḥ Poetry and its Precedents (Islamic Texts Society, 2020). He is currently working on two introductory book projects: Exploring Africana Philosophy (Equinox Press) and The Language of the Birds: An Introduction to Sufi Poetry and Poetics and conducting research comparing and contrasting indigenous/Islamic and Europhone theorizations and projects of decoloniality.
Ogunnaike earned his Ph.D. in African and African American Studies and Religion at Harvard University. Prior to his appointment at UVA, he taught at the College of William and Mary and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Professor Ogunnaike also writes and does work on the Philosophy of Religion, African Philosophy, Anthropology, Decoloniality, and Race.