Since 2017 the Chair of Islamic Doctrine has been offering the Senior Research Seminar for advanced MA students to guide them in their academic study and research. The seminar further provides a vibrant platform for PhD and Habilitation (postdoctoral) candidates to present and discuss their ongoing research and to offer feedback on others’ ideas. In recent years (since 2020) the seminar has been organized in cooperation with the Chair for Religious Studies and Jewish Studies (Faculty of Protestant Theology) Prof. Dr. Holger Zellentin. For this semester's programme, please see the poster.
‘Scriptural Reasoning’ (SR), a practice which originally developed as a Jewish intra-faith activity, has become a prominent and especially rich method for interfaith dialogue between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Be it in schools, parishes, or in academic settings, people of Abrahamic faiths read and reflect upon their respective Scriptures together. Committed to Scriptural Reasoning since 2004, Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri was a member of the SR group at the University of Cambridge. Since then she has been an active participant in various SR events and at the University of Tübingen she has offered yearly Scriptural Reasoning seminars in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Christoph Schwöbel (from 2015 to 2021), thereby introducing a central interfaith practice into Tübingen’s academic university setting. Students engage with Scriptural passages selected according to a specific theme and learn from the ‘other’ tradition and gain fresh perspectives on their ‘own’. The annual Scriptural Reasoning seminars are an integral and much valued part of the courses taught by the Chair of Islamic Doctrine.
Formed to explore and gain literacy with the metaphysical ideas and concepts that have helped shape theological thought, this reading group works through the ‘classics' from antiquity to the early modern period. Comprised of academics, graduates and students, the group meets weekly and reads Greek, Latin and Arabic texts, ranging from philosophy, metaphysics, logic, geometry etc. all with the intention to see how acquaintance with a classical canon may help contemporary thinking as well as to garner an appreciation for intellectual history more generally.
Contact person: mujadad.zaman (for more details about the reading group) @uni-tuebingen.de
Doctoral team members of the Chair of Islamic Doctrine are involved in the organisation of and participation in a reading group, which includes also other doctoral students across the ZITh. The reading group was set up to discuss 21st-century monographs, which have marked the field of Islamic studies, ranging from works of the classical, post-classical, to the modern periods. The group meets once a month during term-time and onsite so as to reconstitute a physical space for collective and critical engagement, all in a friendly atmosphere! For more details see the poster.
Contact person: claire.gallien (for more details about the reading group) @zith.uni-tuebingen.de
See also the page of the Graduate Council for more details about its activities
In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Sohaira Siddiqui (Georgetown University Qatar), ChID pursued the one-year project ‘Exploring the Feminine within Islam’ (Jan-Dec 2019), funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project brought together female scholars from different countries of origin, discourse spaces and age groups and established an international network to work on theological concepts of ‘The Feminine within Islam’, The multiperspectivity also shaped the activities held within the framework of the 2019 project, which culminated in a round table with top international female researchers from various disciplines in Tübingen in December 2019. The activities over the year contributed to designing a network and formulating central questions for dealing with ‘The Feminine within Islam’ in a global perspective. For a detailed report, please click here.
In cooperation with Cambridge Muslim College, the University of St Andrews, and St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute in Moscow, ChID held a conference on ‘Green Theology’ on 30/31 March 2019 in Cambridge, UK. Furthering the rich intellectual exchange held in Tübingen (March 2018) on Theological Anthropology, the conference continued the contribution of theological voices engaged in historical interfaith dialogues to contemporary debates. Despite the limited role of religious discourses in modern ecological debates, the ecological crisis we face intimates questions about the nature of existence, life and consciousness, which demand theological responses. International Muslim and Christian scholars gave papers around the issues of cosmology, the notion of stewardship, the place of the self in nature, animals and non-animal life, and ecology in religious perspectives. The proceedings of the conference are currently being prepared for publication in an edited volume.
On 7-9 March 2018, ChID organised the international conference ‘Theological Anthropology in Interreligious Perspective’ in cooperation with the university’s Faculty for Protestant Theology, Cambridge Muslim College, and the St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute in Moscow. The event sought to create a space for interreligious academic dialogue based on theological approaches to the human being promoting mutual understanding as well as a comprehensive study of the Islamic and Christian traditions. The conference explored varying notions of humaness in relation to God, ethics, dignity and mortality. The proceedings of this highly fruitful conference will be published in the edited volume Theological Anthropology in Interreligious Perspective (forthcoming).
For all religions, the musical dimension and especially the sounding of sacred texts is an essential component. In cooperation with the Institute of Musicology, Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri and Dr. Mujadad Zaman developed and led the project ‘Sacred Sound’ (April 2017 to July 2018), which was part of the University’s ‘Exploration Starter Fund’ through its Excellence Initiative. This project pursued research questions related to ‘sacred sounds’ in an interreligious and interdisciplinary context. The events of the project explored what is common as well as distinct within the sacred conceptions of ‘sound’ in the traditions of Judaism, Christinity, and Islam. Further, by combining academic lectures with music in the form of a series of ‘lecture/recitals’, the project opened up new paths for the communication of academic research to the public.
In 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri organised study trips (Summer Academy on Muslim-Christian Dialogue) to Rome in cooperation with the Lay Center at Foyer Unitas and Cambridge Muslim College (CMC). Students spent several days in Rome, where they visited places such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums, and monasteries. They attended a General Audience with the Pope and Sunday mass to get an impression of Christian spirituality. An important element of these study trips were personal encounters with scholars of religion, diplomats, and people committed to interfaith dialogue. These study trips gave students from Tübingen, Cambridge, and Rome unique opportunities to meet, to gain insights into religion in Italy, and to learn about Christian and Muslim perspectives on specific topics.
As members of the equality commission, in 2016, Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri and Dr. Amina Nawaz invited renowned international female researchers to give seminars and lectures on the topic of ‘Women and Religion’. The lectures covered a broad range of topics such as ‘Women in Islamic Legal Discourses’, ‘Women in Judaism’, ‘Women Missionaries in the Christian Church’, and ‘Zulaykha and her Changing Role in Sufi Exegesis’. Students and other attendees not only learned about the central role of women and womanhood in religious thought and theology but also benefited from professional networking with prominent female scholars of religion.
In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Samuela Pagani (University of Salento), Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri organized the first international and interdisciplinary conference on ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī (1641-1731). From 4 to 6 September 2014, scholars gathered to discuss Nābulusī’s extensive and influential work, which bears witness to the early modern endeavor to establish a renewed theology. The wealth of Nābulusī's literary output reflects the multifaceted dimensions of early modern Islamic culture and civilisation and highlights a new historiographical consciousness. Accordingly, the range of topics extended from the Hanafite-Maturid legal and theological tradition and its connection with the Ashari school of theology, the interpretation of Ibn ʿArabī's legacy, poetry, travel books, Islamic law and the customs of Arab provinces, to contemporary Sunni scholarship in the Islamic world and religious, cultural and civilisational developments within the Christian and Jewish communities of the Ottoman Empire. The contributions have been published in Early Modern Trends in Islamic Theology. ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī and His Network of Scholarship (2019). For the full conference report (in German), please click here.
The lecture series ‘Islamic Theology between Continuity and Change’, which Prof. Dr. Lejla Demiri organized in 2o13, brought scholars from Bosnia, Canada, the US, Qatar, and Wales to Tübingen. From their experiences in their home countries and abroad, the speakers offered rich views on ‘Islam and the West’. They addressed current issues related to the fields of exegesis, Christian-Muslim relations, music, biomedical ethics, and Islamic law in minority contexts. Given the then recent foundation of the Center for Islamic Theology in Tübingen in 2012, these lectures provided fertile grounds to develop perspectives for Islamic theology in Germany.