Catarina Belo

Academic Degree:
Professional Category:
Associate Professor

Research Group: HPhil

Catarina Belo is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo. She graduated in Philosophy from the University of Lisbon (1997) and completed a BA in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental Studies, University of London in 2000. She completed her doctoral thesis on the subject of chance and determinism in Avicenna and Averroes at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford in 2004. After working as a research assistant at the Martin-Buber-Institut für Judaistik, University of Cologne, she joined the Department of Philosophy at The American University in Cairo in February 2006.

She is a specialist in medieval Islamic philosophy, in particular Avicenna and Averroes. Other interests include medieval Islamic theology and medieval Christian philosophy, especially St. Thomas Aquinas, and German Idealism, in particular Hegel’s philosophy. She studies also the intersection between philosophy and religion in the Middle Ages, and in Hegel.

Selected Publications


  • Chance and Determinism in Avicenna and Averroes, Leiden: Brill, 2007. 
  • Averróis, Discurso decisivo sobre a harmonia entre a religião e a filosofia, translation from the Arabic into Portuguese with introduction and notes by Catarina Belo, Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2006.
  • O essencial sobre Averróis, Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2007. 
  • A Teologia de Aristóteles by the Pseudo-Aristotle, translated from the Arabic with introduction and notes by Catarina Belo, Volume XIII, Tome II of The Complete Works of Aristotle series in Portuguese, edited by António Pedro Mesquita, Lisbon: Centre for Philosophy of the University of Lisbon and Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2010.
  • Existence, Cause, Essence. Essays in Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Lisbon: Centre for Philosophy of the University of Lisbon, 2012. 
  • Averroes and Hegal on Philosophy and Religion, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2013.

Book Chapters

  • ‘Ibn Sīnā on Chance in the Physics of al-Shifā’’, in Interpreting Avicenna: Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islam, Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Avicenna Study Group, ed. by J. McGinnis with the assistance of D. Reisman, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2004, pp. 25-41.
  • ‘Deus na filosofia e na teologia islâmicas: a resposta de Averróis a al-Ghazzālī’, in Maria Leonor L. O. Xavier (ed.), A Questão de Deus na História da Filosofia, vol. I, Sintra, Zéfiro/Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, 2008, pp. 229-237. 
  • ‘Some Notes on Averroes’ Appraisal of non-Islamic Religions, with a Focus on Christianity and Judaism’, in Universality of Reason, Plurality of Philosophies in the Middles Ages (Proceedings of the 12th SIEPM Congress, Palermo, 17-22 September 2007), edited by Alessandro Musco, Rosanna Gambino – Luciana Pepi – Patrizia Spallino – Maria Vassallo, indices by Patrizia Spallino, vol. III, Palermo, Officina di Studi Medievali, 2012, pp. 1-9.
  • ‘Models of Causality in Islamic Philosophy’, in La périodisation en histoire des sciences et de la philosophie, la fin d’un mythe, edited by Hassan Tahiri, College Publications, 2013, pp. 15-24.
  • ‘Averroes (d. 1198), The Decisive Treatise’, in the Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy, edited by Khaled El-Rouayheb and Sabine Schmitdke, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 278-295.
  • ‘Theories of Prophecy and the Faculties of the Soul in Medieval Islamic Philosophy’ in José Meirinhos – Celia López Alcalde – João Rebalde (eds.), Secrets and Discovery in the Middle Ages. Proceedings of the 5th European Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Instituts d’Études Médiévales (Porto, 25th to 29th June 2013), (col. Textes et études du Moyen Âge, 90) Barcelona – Roma: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d’Études Médiévales, 2017, pp. 3-13.


  •  ‘Averroes on God’s Knowledge of Particulars’, Journal of Islamic Studies, Oxford, 17:2, 2006, pp. 177-199.
  • ‘Ibn Rushd on God’s Decree and Determination (al-qaḍā’ wa-l-qadar)’, Al-Qantara, Madrid, volume XXVII, fasc.2, July-December 2006, pp. 245-264.
  • ‘Mu‘tazilites, Al-Ash‘arī, and Maimonides on Divine Attributes’, Veritas, Porto Alegre (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), vol. 52, no. 3, September 2007, pp. 117-131.
  • ‘Predestination and human Responsibility in medieval Islam: some aspects of a classical Problem’, in Didaskalia, Theology journal of the Catholic University of Lisbon, XXXVIII, I, 2008, pp. 139-151.
  • ‘Some Considerations on Averroes’ Views regarding Women and their Role in Society’, Journal of Islamic Studies, Oxford, 20:1, 2009, pp. 1-20.
  • ‘Essence and Existence in Avicenna and Averroes’, al-Qantara, Madrid, volume XXX, 2 (June-December), 2009, pp. 403-426.
  • ‘The concept of ‘nature’ in Aristotle, Avicenna and Averroes’, Kriterion (Department of Philosophy of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil), vol. LVI, no. 131, January to June 2015, pp. 45-56.