Religionswissenschaft und Judaistik

Prof. Dr. Holger Zellentin

Holger Zellentin is an award-winning scholar of Late Antiquity, with a focus on Talmudic and Qur’anic studies. He combines literary, legal and historical approaches in order to understand shared and diverging patterns within Jewish, Christian and early Islamic cultural traditions.
He has received funding from the European Research Council, the British Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), and has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2014) as well as an ERC Consolidator Grant, The Quran as a Source for Late Antiquity (2020-2025). He currently serves as the chair of the board of the International Qur’anic Studies Association, and has previously served on the steering committee of the British Association for Jewish Studies. In 2019, he joined the University of Tübingen, where he now lives, climbs and cycles.


Full curriculum vitae and bibliography

Career (selection)

Faculty Positions

  • Since 10/2019 Professor of Religion (Jewish Studies), Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Tübingen.
  • 2017 - 2019 Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.
  • 2011 - 2017 Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham.
  • 2007 - 2010 Graduate Theological Union and University of California, Berkeley.
  • 2006 - 2007 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick.

Education (selection)

  • 2007 Ph.D. Department of Religion, Princeton University.
  • 2004 MA Department of Religion and Department of Classics, Princeton University.
  • 2001 Doctoraal (BA cum MA) Juda Palache Institute, University of Amsterdam, cum laude (highest honours).
  • 2000 Doctoraal (BA cum MA), Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Amsterdam.
  • 1998 Diplôme des Études Universitaires Générales, Protestant Theology, Université des Sciences Humaines de Strasbourg.

Bibliography (selection)

Monographs and Edited Volumes

  • The Qur’an’s Reformation of Judaism and Christianity: Return to the Origins (Routledge Studies in the Quran; Abingdon: Routledge, 2019).
  • The Talmud and Christianity: Rabbinic Judaism after Constantine, co-edited with Daniel Weiss and Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, double issue in Jewish Studies Quarterly 25.3 and 4 (2018).
  • The Qurʾān’s Legal Culture: The Didascalia Apostolorum as a Point of Departure (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013).
  • Rabbinic Parodies of Jewish and Christian Literature (Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 139; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011).
  • Heresy and Identity in Late Antiquity (Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, 119; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), co-edited with Eduard Iricinschi.

Volume Chapters and Journal Articles

  • “Law in the Medinan Qur’an: The Case of Biblical Incest Law and its Qur’anic Re-Iteration,” in Nicolai Sinai (ed.), Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an (Leiden: Brill), under review.
  •  “Gentile Purity Law from the Bible to the Qur’an: The Case of Sexual Purity and Illicit Intercourse,” in Holger Zellentin (ed.) The Qurʾān’s Reformation of Judaism and Christianity: Return to the Origins (Routledge Studies in the Quran; Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), 115-215.
  • “Rabbi Lazarus and the Rich Man: A Talmudic Parody of the Christian Hell (Yerushalmi Hagiga 2.2, 77d and Sanhedrin 6.9, 23c),” in Asaph Ben-Tov and Martin Mulsow (eds.), Knowledge and Profanation: Transgressing the Boundaries of Religion in Premodern Scholarship (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 23-94.
  •  “Typology and the Transfiguration of Rabbi Aqiva (Pesiqta de Rav Kahana 4:7 and Bavli Menahot 29b),” in Jewish Studies Quarterly 25.3 (2018): 23-268.
  •  “Judaeo-Christian Legal Culture and the Qurʾān: The Case of Ritual Slaughter and the Consumption of Animal Blood,” in Francisco del Río Sánchez (ed.), Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018), 117-159.
  • “Trialogical Anthropology: The Qurʾān on Adam and Iblis in View of Rabbinic and Christian Discourse,” in Rüdiger Braun and Hüseyin Çiçek (eds.), The Quest for Humanity – Contemporary Approaches to Human Dignity in the Context of the Qurʾānic Anthropology (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017), 54-125.
  •  “The Rabbis on (the Christianization of) the Imperial Cult: Mishna and Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah 3.1 (42b, 54 - 42c, 61),” in Catherine Hezser (ed.), Jewish Art in its Late Antique Context (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015), 319-55.
  •  “Jerusalem Fell After Betar: The Christian Josephus and Rabbinic Memory,” in Raʿanan Boustan et al. (eds.), Envisioning Judaism: Studies in Honor of Peter Schäfer on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2013), Volume I, 319-67.
  • “Rabbanizing Jesus, Christianizing the Son of David: The Bavli’s Approach to the Secondary Messiah Traditions,” in Rivka Ulmer (ed.), Discussing Cultural Influences: Text, Context, Non-Text in Rabbinic Judaism (New York: University Press of America, 2007), 99-128.


  • Deutscher Hochschulverband (DHV)
  • International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA)
  • European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS)
  • Verband der Judaisten in Deutschland (VJD)