Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Harvard University
August – December 2016
Poetologies of Asceticism from Early Islam until Abbasid Times
In the framework of the dissertation project, processes of appropriation, communication and literarisation of ascetic knowledge from early Islam until early Abbasid times (7th–9th centuries CE/ 1st–3rd centuries AH) are examined and charted in a late antique cultural, intellectual and textual milieu. Against attempts to evaluate the practices represented in Arabic renunciant literature as more or less “authentic” – which serves to prove or to refute a dichotomically conceptualized historicity of ascetic literature – the hypothesis is put forward that ascetic knowledge is fundamentally entwined with its literary articulation.
Nora Katharina Schmid is a research associate of the Collaborative Research Center 980 “Episteme in Motion” and a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin. From 2007 until 2012 she has been a researcher of the Corpus Coranicum project (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities). Her research interests include the Qur’an, Arabic asceticism and the intellectual and literary traditions of pre-Islamic Arabia. She is currently co-editing a collective volume entitled “Denkraum Spätantike” and has written an article about “Lot’s Wife: Late Antique Paradigms of Sense and the Qur’ān" (forthcoming in 2016 in: Angelika Neuwirth, Michael Sells (eds.), Qur’ānic Studies Today, Routledge).