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Professor of Arabic Studies Angelika Neuwirth Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Yale University

Scholar from Freie Universität Berlin Honored as One of the World’s Leading Scholars of the Koran

№ 146/2012 from Jun 04, 2012

Angelika Neuwirth, a professor of Arabic studies at Freie Universität Berlin, was granted an honorary doctorate from Yale University’s Department of Religious Studies. She was selected for this award as she is one of the world’s leading scholars of the Koran. The honorary degree was presented by Richard C. Levin, the president of Yale University, during a ceremony in New Haven. Last year Neuwirth was named an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, is one of the world's leading universities. Founded in 1701, Yale is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the so-called Ivy League universities and a member of the Association of American Universities, as organization of leading North American research universities established in 1900, originally to strengthen and maintain American doctoral programs and now functioning to maintain a strong system of academic research and education in North America. Yale is also one of ten leading universities that in 2006 formed the International Alliance of Research Universities.

Professor Angelika Neuwirth, born in 1943, studied Persian language and literature in Tehran and Semitic studies, Arabic studies, Islamic studies, and classical philology in Göttingen and Jerusalem. After completing her doctorate in 1972 at the University of Göttingen and her habilitation in 1977 at LMU Munich, Neuwirth conducted research and taught in Amman, Jordan. She held positions in Munich, Cairo, and Bamberg before joining Freie Universität Berlin in 1991 as a professor of Arabic studies.

From 1994 to 1999 Neuwirth was the director of the Orient Institute of the German Oriental Society (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) in Beirut and Istanbul. In 2008 she was awarded an honorary doctorate in Catholic theology from the University of Bamberg. In 2009 she was named a member of Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, and in 2011 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (U.S.). Neuwirth's research focuses on classical and modern Arabic literature and the Koran during Late Antiquity. Currently, Neuwirth heads the Corpus Coranicum research project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The aim of the project is to document the hand-written and oral traditions of the Koran in order to develop a better contextual understanding in the West, the primary audience for the Corpus Coranicum.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Angelika Neuwirth, Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-53597, Email: