Kirk Templeton, PhD Kirk Templeton

Adjunct Lecturer
Asian Philosophies and Cultures
Philosophy and Religion Department
School of Consciousness and Transformation

PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies

MA, San Francisco State University; BA, Sonoma State University

Kirk Templeton received his Ph.D. (2013) from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Kirk's general research interest lies in the area of comparative world philosophy with a focus on the study of consciousness. His areas of specialization include the Indian tantric tradition of Kashmir Śaivism, the Persian illuminationist tradition of Islamic Philosophy, the doctrine of divine illumination in Western scholasticism, and the Western Hermetic tradition. He concentrates particularly on the doctrine of the metaphysics of Light and how it appears as a common element in these currents of thought and practice. 

Kirk integrates his scholarly pursuits with complementary studies in the areas of sound and vibration. He works closely with the East West Sanskrit Institute in the study and practice of mantra. He is an accomplished percussionist, playing Middle Eastern drum and also studying North Indian tabla.  Kirk currently teaches courses in Islamic philosophy, culture and history.

Professional Experience

California Institute of Integral Studies: Lecturer, Philosophy and Religion Department 

San Francisco State University: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Philosophy

Sonoma State University: Instructor, School of Extended Education    


Ph.D., Philosophy and Religion, Asian and Comparative Studies Program, California Institute of Integral Studies (2013)

M.A., Philosophy, College of Humanities, San Francisco State University (2006)

B.A., Philosophy, School of Arts and Humanities, Sonoma State University (2003)

Areas of Specialization: Comparative World Philosophy and Religion, Islamic Philosophy, Indian Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind  

Dissertation Topic: Abhinavagupta, Suhrawardi and the Metaphysics of Light. Committee Chair:  James Ryan  

Master's Thesis: Avicenna, Aquinas and the Active Intellect. Director: Mohammad Azadpur           

Teaching Experience

Graduate Courses

  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Introduction to Islam

Undergraduate Courses

  • Critical Thinking

University Extension Courses

  • Arab Women, Images and Realities

Languages studied

Sanskrit, Arabic, German, Latin, Greek, Ancient Egyptian.  


  • "Avicenna, Aquinas and the Active Intellect." The Journal of Islamic Philosophy.  Volume 3-2007


  • "The Light of Consciousness in Hindu Tantra and Islamic Philosophy." California Institute of Integral Studies. January 12, 2013.
  • "Sri Aurobindo's The Mind of Light and Integral Epistemology." Founder's Symposium of Integral Consciousness- 2012.  California Institute of Integral Studies. May 4, 2012.
  • "Towards an Imaginal Methodology in the Study of Western Esotericism."  American Academy of Religion 2011 Annual Conference, San Francisco, California. November 19, 2011.
  • "Indian Philosophy and Plato: The possibility of direct influence." Asian and Comparative Philosophy Spring 2009 Colloquium: The Shape of Ancient Thought, April 2009.
  • "Avicenna, Aquinas and the Active Intellect."  Multiversity Conference, California Institute of Integral Studies, February 2008.
  • "Mahadevi as Apsaras." Graduate Seminar on the Hindu Goddess, California Institute of Integral Studies, November 2007.
  • "Islamic Philosophy, Mysticism and Spirituality." Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco, California, March 2007
  • "Woman and Gender in Islam." Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco, California, March 2007.
  • "Aristotle's Theory of the Active Intellect." Graduate Seminar in the Philosophy of Aristotle, San Francisco State University, October 2005.
  • "Historical Roots of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."  Silk Route Cultural Society, San Francisco State University, October 2005.
  • "The Active Intellect in Medieval Philosophy."  Undergraduate Course in Medieval Philosophy,  San Francisco State University, April 2005.
  • "Islam and Terrorism."  Presentations of the Ad-hoc Faculty Committee on Terrorism, Sonoma State University, September, 2001.


Honors, Awards, Grants

  • Philip Gainsborough Scholarship, California Institute of Integral Studies, 2006-2007.
  • Graduated with distinction in philosophy, B.A., Sonoma State University, 2003.


  • Founder and President, Silk Route Cultural Society, San Francisco State University, 2005-2006
  • Founder and President, Indian Cultural Club, Sonoma State University, 2001-2003

Stay Connected to CIIS