Gudrun Krämer was selected for this prize because her research on the history, culture, religion, and values of Muslims has the potential to offer explanations for current conflicts.
Krämer was born in 1953 in Marburg. From 1972 to 1978 she studied history, Islamic studies, political science, and English in Heidelberg, Bonn, and Sussex. In 1982 she earned a doctorate in Islamic studies from Hamburg University. Her thesis was on the Jewish minority in Egypt. She worked for several years at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Ebenhausen near Munich as a member of the research division concerned with the Middle East and Africa. To qualify for becoming a professor in Germany, she completed a habilitation thesis in 1993 entitled Gottes Staat als Republik [God’s Country as a Republic]. In 1994 she was appointed professor of Islamic studies at Bonn University. Visiting lectureships and professorships took her to Cairo, Bologna, Paris, Jakarta, Erfurt, and Beirut. In 1996 Krämer was appointed professor of Islamic studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2007 she has been the director of Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, one of the graduate schools at Freie Universität Berlin to be funded under the German government’s Excellence Initiative.
Krämer is co-editor of Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three. In German she has published histories of Palestine and Islam, both of which have been reprinted. Most recently she published Hasan al-Banna, a biography written in English on the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna.