Center for Islamic Theology


Internationalization at the University of Tübingen has two closely intertwined goals. As an international research university, Tübingen stands for responsible research at the highest level, as well as a research-based education of its students, doctoral candidates, and postdocs that enables them to become world citizens. In an age of global challenges, addressing them through internationally connected high-level research as well as preparing its students for their professional careers is the University of Tübingen’s societal duty. This duty is also expressed in the University’s Institutional Strategy entitled “Research – Relevance – Responsibility”. 

The Center for Islamic Theology is one of the most internationally diverse institutions in the University.  We boast not only a diverse staff and student body, but a large network of international research collaborations that are continuously being intensified and expanded. Students and Staff at our Center benefit not only from the thousands of international associations of the University, but also from the ERASMUS+ co-operations unique to our Center. 

International Research, Mobility and Recruitment

The research conducted at the ZITh reflects the broad interests of its academic staff, ranging from classical disciplines in Islamic Theology and Oriental Studies to contemporary interests in religion and science, art, the social sciences as well as interfaith related themes. This includes, though is not limited to, research in philology, historical anthropology, history of ideas, legal and religious history, exegesis, prophetic traditions as well as systematic theology, philosophy of religion and legal theory. Moreover, the emphasis on practical theology extends to the important emerging fields of pedagogy, social and youth work as well as faith-based counselling. The Center’s international research strategy is also reflected in the prioritisation of collaborations with European and international universities as well as interdisciplinary projects through ERASMUS. This extends to the hosting of international guest professors as well as the recruitment of exceptional international researchers at the Center.

Commitment to Teaching

Through the international composition of its staff, the ZITh is able to create a place of critical inquiry where language training and research-based teaching offers fruitful insights into international discourses and research methods in the fields of theology and the study of religion more generally. Coupled with this is the increasing importance of English-language courses offered by the ZITh, making it amongst the few places in the University to do so on a regular basis. The popularity of these courses amongst the wider student body and ERASMUS students, in particular, is integrated into an internationalizing strategy for the further development of English-language degree programs. The Center, since its foundation, has employed and hosted numerous outstanding scholars for the purpose of creating a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere for the high standards of scholarship and teaching of theology in Germany.

Opportunities for International Scholars

As part of our commitment to internationalisation, we firmly uphold the University wide goals of supporting early career researchers and expanding research alumni networks.  We regularly seek scholars to spend time at our Centre, teaching or researching. Depending on the nature of the visit, funding can be sought to cover a single lecture or a few weeks of teaching in a block seminar, and also teaching or research stays for a single semester or the full academic year.  Some of the flagship possibilities at the University of Tuebingen for funding such stays are made possible through the Excellence Initiative.


The ERASMUS+ program promotes student and staff mobility and supports cooperation in all fields of general and university education.  Students and Staff of the Center are encouraged to take part in the programme by visiting our partner universities for study and/or teaching and research.  Our current partners include:

  • KU Leuven University (Belgium)
  • University of Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
  • SOAS – University of London (England)
  • University of Leiden (Netherlands)
  • University of Oslo (Norway)
  • University of Ankara (Turkey)
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (Turkey)
  • Istanbul Şehir University (Turkey)
  • Istanbul 29 Mayıs University (Turkey)
  • Marmara University (Turkey)

Internationalization & Social Engagement

In addition to promoting high standards of scholarship in research and teaching, the ZITh offers inter and intra-religious dialogue opportunities for students which extend beyond national university boundaries. This being in part to encourage students and early career scholars to volunteer in local and international initiatives, creating diverse exchanges of ideas and reflective understanding and mutual respect.

Ongoing Projects

  • Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History 1500-1900 (CMR1900)
    Contact: Prof. Dr. Demiri
  • The Presence of the Prophet: Muhammad in the mirror of his community in early and modern Islam (DFG-ANR), R. Chih/S. Reichmuth
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vimercati Sanseverino
  • INTER•RELIGIO- A project on interreligious dialogue
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vimercati Sanseverino

National Co-operations

  • Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Tübingen
  • Protestant Theological Faculty of the University of Tübingen
  • Global Ethic Institute Tübingen
  • Centers for Islamic Theology in Germany:
    • Erlangen-Nuremberg
    • Frankfurt  
    • Muenster  
    • Osnabruck
  • University of Education Heidelberg
  • University of Education Karlsruhe
  • University of Education Ludwigsburg
  • Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart
  • College of Jewish Studies (HfJS) Heidelberg
  • Academic Trips
    Interfaith Academy (Rome) in cooperation with the Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas and the Cambridge Muslim College
    Contact: Prof. Dr. Demiri
  • Islamic Theological Foundations (Mannheim Institute for Integration and Inter-religious Dialogue e.V.,)
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Hibaoui (speaker)
  • Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (ADS)
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Hibaoui (board member)
  • Avicenna Study Work
    Members of the Scientific Advisory Board: Prof. Dr. Demiri, Prof. Dr. Hamdan, Jun. Prof. Dr. Hibaoui (since 2012)
  • German-Islamic Academy Baden-Württemberg
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Hibaoui (board member)
  • Report for the German Bundestag
    Contact: Prof. Dr. Khalfaoui
  • Youth Migration Council (JuMigRa)
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Hibaoui
  • Education, Society and Culture (Robert Bosch Stiftung)
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Hibaoui
  • Project work of the model project Islamic Religious Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport Baden-Württemberg
    Contact: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulfat (member since 2017), Prof. Dr. Demiri (Member 2015-2017)
  • Round Table of Religions (Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration of Baden-Württemberg)
    Contact: Apl. Prof. Dr. Erdal Toprakyaran
  • Zukunftsforum Islam (Federal Agency for Civic Education in Bonn)
    Contact: Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah
  • Universal Rights Group (URG) of the United Nations
    Contact: Apl. Prof. Dr. Erdal Toprakyaran
  • Certificate Study Migration and Integration
    Contact: Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah, Jun. Prof. Dr. Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino