Sabine Schmidtke, born in Schwerte, Germany. Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. Professor of Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.
Fellow (1 February 2012 – 30 June 2012)
A BAGHDADI JEW’S EEXAMINATION OF THE THREE MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS: A NEW EDITION OF IBN KAMMŪNA’S (D. 1284) TANQĪḤ AL-ABḤĀTH
Over the past six months, I have seen two book publications through the press. One of them is a critical edition of a Muslim theological work of the 11th century of major importance that has been restored exclusively on the basis of fragments of Jewish copies that are partly preserved in St. Petersburg and partly in the British Library in London. The second publication is a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Arabica (Leiden: Brill) that is dedicated to Zaydism, a branch of Shīʿī Islam.
A significant amount of my time was devoted to another volume I am currently co-editing together with Camilla Adang (Tel Aviv) and Maribel Fierro (Madrid) that is devoted to Andalusī thinker Ibn Ḥazm (11th century CE): Ibn Ḥazm of Cordoba: Life and Times of a Controversial Thinker, Leiden: Brill (Handbuch der Orientalistik; 103).
In addition, I have made significant progress with the critical edition of Ibn Kammūna’s Tanqīḥ al-abḥāth li-l-milal al-thalāth. The collation of all twelve available manuscripts has been completed by now and I expect to be able to complete the edition and introduction by the end of 2012.
Moreover, I have intensified relations with my colleagues in the Near Eastern Department of Leiden University. I have given a public lecture at the department, have prepared and submitted a joint research proposal with a colleague in Leiden, was invited as a visiting fellow to Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society in spring 2013.
In several respects, the interaction with other disciplines and academic disciplines was very helpful for a number of research projects I am currently preparing. One of them concerns mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion in Islamic religious spheres. I profited immensely from the stimuli I received from the colleagues working in the field of social psychology, specifically from Kip Williams’ project on ostracism. Another new field of research I am currently working on concerns the notions of canon and canonicity and the mechanisms that are relevant to its formation. Here, I got tremendously helpful ideas from the theme group working on “Mass Communication in Antiquity”. Reif Larsen’s presentations initiated me to a way of seeing and appreciating aesthetics that I hope to be able to apply to my own work.