• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.

Francisco Nahoe

Francisco Nahoe


Email: nahoe@zaytuna.edu

Office hours: By appointment

A Franciscan friar and Roman Catholic priest, Francisco Nahoe OFMConv focuses his scholarly efforts primarily on Renaissance rhetoric and Medieval philosophy. His present research and writing projects include work on Anglo-Saxon eschatology, European petrarchismo, and global rhetorics of science.

Having joined the Zaytuna faculty in 2017, Fr. Francisco teaches the Trivium Seminars in Grammar and Rhetoric to freshmen, as well as upper-division courses in Ethics, Politics, and Principles of Democracy. He has enjoyed leading preceptorials in Plato, Plutarch, Dante, Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, and French. One of his favorites so far has been an exploration of the literary descent into the underworld entitled Katabasis in Homer, Vergil, and Ovid.

In his doctoral research on the Italian poems of John Milton (1608–1674), Fr. Francisco examines the rhetoric of multilingualism that the polyglot Englishman deploys so conspicuously, first in commonwealth polemics and later in his poetics of conjugal love. The dissertation includes the most complete variorum to date of Milton’s sonnet cycle in the volgare, taking into account the entire history of critical commentary in English, Italian, and French. Fr. Francisco has recently undertaken a substantial revision of the work, which he hopes to publish as Reforming Petrarch: Milton’s Italian Verse.

Before coming to Zaytuna College, Fr. Francisco was the rector of Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno. Previously, he taught English literature at Andover, where he first met Shaykh Hamza, and Medieval history and Italian at Dartmouth. He has served the Church and the Order in Franciscan formation, campus ministry, parish catechesis, radio evangelization, and Catholic education. Since 2014, he has been the promoter of the Franciscan Vietnam Mission.

An ethnic Polynesian, Fr. Francisco occasionally travels to his family home on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific.


  • University of Nevada, PhD, Renaissance Studies, 2018

  • Harvard Divinity School, ThM, Biblical Studies, 2007

  • Dartmouth College, MA, Comparative Literature, 2004

  • Pontifical Seraphicum, STB, Theology, 1993

  • Pomona College, BA, Philosophy, 1988

Journal Articles

  • Review of “Milton and Catholicism.” Renaissance Quarterly (Fall 2020).

  • Series of reflections on Franciscan spirituality. Messenger of Saint Anthony (2001–2003).


  • Chapter in Global Rhetorics of Science: Archæo-astronomy of Rapa Nui

  • The Italian Verse of Milton (monograph)

Working Papers

  • “Beowulf Beyond the Augustinian Binary”

  • “Inscribing Yahwism into the Wilderness: An Ecocritical Exegesis of Numbers 33”

  • “La cárcel alegórica del Arcipreste: retórica medieval del Libro de buen amor”

  • “Messianism and the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 52:13—53:12”

  • “The Liturgical Intertextuality of Inferno XXXIV”

  • “Violence and Sacred Hunger: Niobid Rhetoric in Spenser”

  • “Community Discipline in Paul and Makkot”

  • “Recovering Paul as a Pharisee: A Paradigm for Christian Praxis”

  • “Tasso at Tilbury: Re-reading the Tilbury Oration of 1588”

  • “L’intertestualità liturgica di Gerusalemme liberata XI 1–15”

Lectures, talks, and other speaking engagements

  • “Canon Lecture: Oedipus Tyrannos”

  • “Tasso at Tilbury,” South-Central Renaissance Conference

  • “Niobid Rhetoric in Spenser,” University of Nevada

  • “The Liturgical Intertextuality of Inferno XXXIV,” UIUC Spring 2020 (canceled)

Posts prior to Zaytuna College

  • 2014–present — Promoter, Franciscan Vietnam Mission, Castro Valley, CA

  • 2010–2015 — Rector, St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, Reno, NV

  • 2006–2010 — Postulant Master, Holy Family Friary, Castro Valley, CA

  • 2003–2006 — Chaplain and Instructor in English, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA

  • 2001–2003 — Pastoral Vicar, National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, San Francisco, CA

  • 1993–2001 — Instructor in English, Bishop Montgomery High School, Torrance, CA

  • 1992–1993 — Deacon, San Marco Evangelista, Roma (Agro-Laurentino), Italy

  • 1991–1992 — Formandus, Pontifical Seraphicum, Roma (EUR), Italy

  • 1990–1991 — Pastoral Intern, St. George Parish, Stockton, CA

  • 1989–1989 — Formandus, Convento Asunción, San Antonio de Belén, Costa Rica

  • 1988–1989 — Formandus, St. Francis Friary, Berkeley, CA

  • 1985–1988 — Formandus, St. Anthony of Padua Friary, Glendora, CA

  • 1984–1985 — Novice Friar, St. Joseph of Cupertino Novitiate, Arroyo Grande, CA

Personal Interests

Renaissance and Baroque chamber music, choral conducting, hiking