University Education
  • 2007 Habilitation (2nd Ph.D.) in Islamic Studies at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Dissertation title: Von Dahr zu Allah. Zeitvorstellungen und hellenistische Ideen in der vorislamisch-arabischen Poesie und im Koran.
  • 2000 Ph.D. in Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin. Dissertation title: Islamische Philosophie und die Krise der Moderne. Studien zum Verhältnis von Leo Strauss zur islamischen Philosophie des Mittelalters.
  • 1997 - 1999  Active participant at the Berliner Seminar of the Working Group Modernity and Islam at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
  • 1995  Magister Artium in Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin. Thesis: Schwermut und Leiden in Kierkegaards “Stadien auf des Lebens Weg”.
  • 1993  Courses at the Evangelical Kirchliche Hochschule Berlin.
  • 1992  Regular student at the Freie Universität Berlin.
  • 1991/92  Courses taken at the Jesuit Philosophisch–Theologische Hochschule St. Georgen in Frankfurt am Main.
  • 1989/90 – 1991/92  Studied Philosophy as a major, Evangelical Theology and Sociology as a minor at the J.-W. Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main.
  • 1988/89  Preparatory course for the foreign students at the J.-W. Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main.
  • 1985/86 – 1987/88  Studied Philosophy at the Lebanese University and German at Goethe-Institute in Tripoli.

 

Academic Positions
  • March-April 2014 Guest Professor at the School of Theology at the University of Balamand. Teaching an MA-Course “Reading the Bible through the Qur’ān”.
  • Since October 1, 2012 Chair of Oriental Philology and Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
  • October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2012  M.S. Sofia Chair in Arabic Studies at the Ohio State University.
  • July 2009 – September 2012  Member of the Advisory Board of the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe” at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • July 14 – 25, 2008  Faculty Member of the Summer University Course “Religion and Politics: The Presence of Sacred and Secular Traditions in Europe and the Middle East” at the Central European University in Budapest.
  • February 1 – September 30, 2007  Permanent Research Fellow at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • October 1, 2006 – September 30, 2007  Guest Professor, Institut für Arabistik at the Freie Universität Berlin, Director.
  • 2003/2004  Taught courses at the Divinity School at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • November 1, 2000 – January 31, 2007  Lecturer of Arabic at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 2001  Invitation to join the University of Balamand in Lebanon as assistant professor, declined.
  • 1997/98  Instructor at the Institut für Arabistik und Semitistik, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • 1997/98  Assistant of Prof. Ulrich Haarmann, Chair of the Berliner Seminar “Modernity and the Past” of the Working Group Modernity and Islam at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

 

Related Professional Experience
  • 2014  Organizing and conducting an international interdisciplinary conference “Exegetical Crossroads: Understanding Scripture in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Medieval Orient” at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg on February 20-22, 2014.
  • 2013  With Patrice Brodeur, Carlos Fraenkel and Assaad Elias Kattan Co-Editor of the Book Series “Judaism, Christianity and Islam – Tension, Transmission, Transformation” Berlin, Boston, New York: Walter De Gruyter.
  • November 2013  Member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches for seven years.
  • October 1, 2012  Member of several committees at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 2011  Organizing and conducting an international interdisciplinary conference “Islam and Rationality: The Impact of al-Ghazālī” at The Ohio State University on November 10-12, 2011.
  • 2009 – 2012  Member of the Faculty Senate of the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.
  • 2009/2010  Chair of the search committee for a position in Arabic at The Ohio State University.
  • 2009/2010  Member of the Graduate Study Committee of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University.
  • 2007  Organizing and conducting an international interdisciplinary conference “Humor in der Arabischen Kultur” at the Freie Universität Berlin on July 05-07, 2007.
  • 2004  Founder and director of Maraya Institute for cultural and academic exchange between Europe and the Arab World. Established relationships with academic institutions and intellectuals in Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
  • 2004  Organizing and conducting an international interdisciplinary conference “Die Trias des Maimonides” at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg on July 07-11, 2004.
  • 2003/2004  Supervising the Arabic translation of Harald Motzki, Die Anfänge der islamischen Jurisprudenz in Mekka bis zur Mitte des 2./8. Jahrhunderts (The Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence), Stuttgart 1991. Published in 2010.
  • 2000  Research project “Der Einfluss von Globalisierungs- und Regionalisierungsprozessen in der Geschichte der Ostkirche auf die Entstehung, Ausbreitung und frühe Entwicklung des Islam im 6. und 7. Jahrhundert” proposed to the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Erfurt. Project accepted by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Invitation declined.

 

Memberships in Academic Associations
  • Member of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft
  • Member of the Deutscher Hochschulverband
  • Member of the Middle East Study Association
  • Member of the American Oriental Society

 

Scholarships, Honors, Fellowships
  • October 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015  Research Fellow of the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe" at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 01.01.2012 – 31.12.2013  Marie Curie Fellowship (Senior Researcher) of the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
  • 2010 – 2011  Considerable Grants from Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Middle East Studies Center, Arts and Humanities, Melton Center for Jewish Studies, Office of International Affairs and Humanities Institute at The Ohio State University dedicated to the conference “Islam and Rationality: The Impact of al-Ghazālī” to be held on November 10-12, 2011.
  • June – September 2010  Visiting Scholar at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe” at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  • 2009-2010  OSU Humanities Research Grant.
  • 2008-2009  OSU Humanities Research Grant.
  • 2008-2009  OSU Mershon Center for International Security Studies Research Funding.
  • 01.01. - 08.15.2006  Member of the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
  • 10.01.2002 – 07.31.2003  Fellow of the Working Group Modernity and Islam at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin (Project: Jewish and Islamic Hermeneutics as Critique of Knowledge).
  • 01.20.2001  Ecumenical prize of the Ecumenical Council Berlin-Brandenburg for the year 2000.
  • 1995 – 2000  Ph.D. scholarship from the DAAD.
  • 1989 – 1995  Scholarship from the Diakonisches Werk of the Evangelical Church in Germany.