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New Research Center at Freie Universität Berlin Studies Intellectual History in the World of Islam

Opening Ceremony on September 13, 2011, 5–6:30 p.m. in Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin-Mitte

№ 259/2011 from Aug 12, 2011

A new research center at Freie Universität Berlin, dealing with the topic "Intellectual History of the Islamicate World," will hold an official opening ceremony on September 13, 2011. Welcoming addresses will be given by the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, and the president of Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt. Three eminent scholars from Jerusalem, Harvard, and London will discuss the topic "Transcending the Denominational Borders of Intellectual History." Advance registration is required for this public event. Journalists are requested to obtain accreditation:

The Intellectual History in the Islamicate World Research Unit examines the history of ideas in the world of Islam from a fundamentally new perspective. Instead of approaching their subject from one of the classic disciplines such as Islamic studies, Jewish studies, or Christian Orientalism, the researchers in this new unit at Freie Universität Berlin are using an interdisciplinary approach. They are taking into account the pluralism of rational thinking and the centuries-long cross-border nature of philosophical and theological scholarship. Historically, this phenomenon is based on an interaction between Jews, Christians, and Muslims, which fascinates even from today's perspective. For centuries, members of all three religions shared Arabic as a common language by which they exchanged ideas, concepts, and texts with each other.

The declared aim of the research center is to overcome disciplinary boundaries and to replace old patterns of thinking through unconventional collaborations. For this project, Muslim and non-Muslim scholars from various disciplines and cultures have come together. They work closely with colleagues and research institutions in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. At the opening ceremony, members of the research group will be introduced, and they will present their work and goals.

Date and Location

  • Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Museum of Islamic Art (Pergamon Museum), Am Kupfergraben 5, Berlin-Mitte (Museum Island)

Advance Registration

Journalists and guests are asked to sign up in advance:

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Sabine Schmidtke, Director, Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-52487, Cell: +49 (0)172 / 9377248, Email: