Short CV/Education and training

  • Since 2014
    Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

  • Since 2013
    Associate member, Laboratoire d'études sur les Monothéismes, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris

  • Since 2011
    Director, Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Institute of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

  • 2006
    Directeur d'études invité, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Paris ("Les ouvrages islamiques de polémique contre de judaïsme")

  • Since 2002
    Professor of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

  • 2002
    Chair in Islamic Studies, University of Vienna (declined)

  • 1999 – 2001
    Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

  • 1997 – 1999
    Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn

  • 1991 – 1999
    Career Diplomat, German Foreign Office

Selected publications

Selected projects


  • Carnegie Corporation Grant (Grant Number G-16-53663) "The Shii Studies Research Project", 2016 – 2019

  • DIP ("Deutsch-Israelische Projektkooperation") Research Grant (DFG): "Biblia Arabica: The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims" (with Camilla Adang and Meira Polliack, Tel Aviv University), 2013 – 2017

  • Proof of Concept Grant, European Research Council ("Weaving the humanities into the web and the web into the humanities. Preserving the cultural heritage of Yemen by creating a universally accessible virtual library of manuscripts" [HumanWeb]), 2012 – 2013

  • Grant "Interne Forschungsförderung 2012", Freie Universität Berlin, 2012 – 2013

  • Grant, Einstein Foundation Berlin, "New Frontiers in Islamic Studies: A series of five German-Israeli summer schools on selected topics of pre-modern Islamic studies" (in cooperation with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), 2011 – 2015

  • Research Grant, DFG/NEH Bilateral Digital Humanities Program: "Enriching Digital Collections" (The Yemen Manuscript Digitization Initiative (YMDI), with Princeton University), 2010 – 2013

  • Research Grant, Fritz Thyssen Foundation ("Jüdische und muslimischerationale Theologie im islamischen Mittelalter: Erstellung einer kritischen Edition des Kitāb al-Mughnī fī abwāb al-tawḥī d wa-l-ʿadl muʿtazilitischen AutorsʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Hamadhānī (st. 1025) – die zayditische und die jüdisch-käraische Fassung am Beispiel der Bände 9, 11, 12")

  • Research Grant, German Foreign Office (Kulturerhalt-Programm des Auswärtigen Amts) ("Preserving Yemen's Cultural Heritage: The Yemen Manuscript Digitization Project (YMDP)"), 2010

  • European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Research Grant ("Rediscovering Theological Rationalism in the Medieval World of Islam"), 2008 – 2013

  • Research grant, Gerda Henkel Foundation ("Critical Edition of Ṣāḥib b.ʿAbbād’s kalām writings"), 2008

  • Research grant, Gerda Henkel Foundation ("Interreligious Polemics in the Ottoman Empire and pre-modern Iran"), 2006 – 2007

  • Research grant, Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation ("The Muʿtazilite Manuscripts Project"), 2005 – 2007

  • Research grant, German-Israel Foundation (GIF) ("Study of Ibn Kammuna"), 2003 – 2006

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the American Philosophical Society, since 2017

Media coverage


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