Arabist Sarah Stroumsa new Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the Cluster

Prof. Dr. Sarah Stroumsa
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The Israeli Arabic scholar Sarah Stroumsa is the Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” in the summer term of 2022. She was Rector of Hebrew University from 2008 to 2012, where she held the Alice and Jack Ormut Chair in Arabic Studies until her retirement.

Sarah Stroumsa has published a number of important and widely read works on the history of philosophical and theological thought in the medieval Islamic world and on Jewish-Arab philosophical literature, including Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker (Princeton 2010) and Andalus and Sefarad: On Philosophy and Its History in Islamic Spain (Princeton 2019).

Particularly noteworthy with regard to her stay at the Cluster of Excellence is her work on the mutual cultural, intellectual and philosophical influence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, on the transfer of culture and knowledge between Jews, Christians and Muslims, and on religious dissidents and freethinkers in medieval Islamic philosophy, such as Abū Bakr al-Rāzī.

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As part of the annual theme “Tradition(s)”, Professor Stroumsa will present for discussion her research on various currents in the academic engagement with philosophical traditions of the medieval Islamic world, thereby exploring the implications of her research for academic concepts of tradition and for the historiography of philosophy. At the same time, she will also present her innovative methodological approaches to the study of the history of ideas in the Arab Middle Ages.

Sarah Stroumsa is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. She was awarded the Research Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2010, is a holder of the Italian Order of Merit, and received the Leopold Lucas Prize of the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Tübingen in 2018.

Public evening lecture „Between Traditions: Philosophical Traditions in the Islamicate World and Scholarly Traditions in Their Study”

17 May 2022 | 6.15 p.m. | Lecture room JO 1, Johannisstraße 4, and via Zoom

The division into schools of thought is a conventional way to map speculative thought among
Jews and Muslims (and, to a lesser extent, Christians) in the medieval Islamicate world. The
lecture will revisit this convention, in order to establish the relative parts played in its formation
by the self-perception of the medieval thinkers themselves on the one hand and modern scholarly
traditions on the other. It will also reflect on the response of medieval philosophical traditions to
the constantly turning political tables, in ways that often defy modern scholarly classifications.

Master Class “The Voice of Written Texts: On the Reconstruction of Intellectual History of the Islamicate World“

18 May 2022 | 9.00 a.m. | Lecture room JO 1, Johannisstraße 4

This class will discuss the way the absence of non-verbal elements from medieval texts, written by or about philosophers, effects their interpretation. Focusing on several examples, we will try to offer additional interpretative tools and demonstrate their importance for the reconstruction of the intellectual history of the Islamicate world.

Venue and registration for the public evening lecture

17 May 2022: Lecture hall JO 1, Johannisstr. 4, 48143 Münster

Participation via Zoom: register at (by midday Tuesday on the date of the event)