Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College in the Department of Religion. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, and the Wissenschaft des Judentums. Her books include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award, the Abraham Geiger prize, and was published in German translation, and The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton UP). She has served as visiting professor at the Universities of Cape Town, Frankfurt, and Edinburgh, and at Princeton University, and is the recipient of four honorary doctorates.
She will be examining the history of Jewish scholarship on Islam from the 1830s through the 1930s. During that period, Jews in Europe flocked to the university study of Arabic and Islam, effectively creating and shaping the field of modern Islamic Studies in Europe, with particular attention to Islamic origins, the Qur’an, and Hadith. This scholarship led to a more general Jewish fascination with Islam, evidenced by their translations of the Qur’an into Hebrew, German, and French, and by the elevation of Islam as a religion of ethics and monotheism in modern Jewish thought.
Professor Heschel will undertake archival research in Europe, India, and Israel. Her research has been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, a year at the National Humanities Center, and a Carnegie Foundation grant in Islamic Studies. She has also held a year-long fellowship at the Wissenschaftkolleg zu Berlin.
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