Project Leaders


Professor Camilla Adang

Camilla Adang is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Tel Aviv University, where she teaches classical Islamic thought. She studied Languages and Cultures of the Middle East and Spanish at Catholic University Nijmegen, The Netherlands (now Radboud University Nijmegen), where she also defended her PhD thesis entitled Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm, a revised version of which was published in 1996 by Brill. She has held research fellowships in Madrid, Jerusalem, Leiden, Wassenaar and Göttingen and has published widely on social and intellectual (including polemical) encounters between Muslims and Jews in the Middle Ages and the Ottoman period, as well as on the controversial legal scholar and theologian Ibn Ḥazm of Cordoba. She is one of the editors of the two Brill series, Studies on the Children of Abraham and Biblia Arabica: Texts and Studies and serves on the editorial or advisory boards of various other book series and scientific journals.

Select publications relevant to the project:

Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm (Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science, 22); Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996.
— ‘A Jewish Reply to Ibn Ḥazm: Solomon b. Adret’s Polemic against Islam’, in: Maribel Fierro (ed.), Judíos y musulmanes en al-Andalus y el Magreb: Contactos intelectuales. Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2002, pp. 179-209.
— ‘The Chronology of the Israelites according to Ḥamza al-Iṣfahānī’, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 32 (2006), pp. 286-310.
— ‘Biblical predictions of Muḥammad in al-Munqidh min al-taqlīd by the Imāmī Muʿtazilī Sadīd al-Dīn al-Ḥimmasī al-Rāzī (d. after 600/1204)’, in: C. Adang, S. Schmidtke & D. Sklare (eds.), A Common Rationality: Muʿtazilism in Islam and Judaism; Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2007, pp. 297-330.
— ‘A Polemic against Judaism by a Convert to Islam from the Ottoman Period: Risālat Ilzām al-Yahūd fīmā zaʿamū fī l-Tawrāt min qibal ʿilm al-kalām’, Journal Asiatique 297.1 (2009), pp. 131-151.
— ‘Guided to Islam by the Torah: The Risāla al-Hādiya by ʿAbd al-Salām al-Muhtadī al-Muḥammadī’, in: C. Adang and S. Schmidtke (eds.), Contacts and Controversies between Muslims, Jews and Christians in the Ottoman Empire and Pre-Modern Iran. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2010, pp. 57-71.
— ‘Intra- and interreligious controversies in 3rd/9th century Qayrawān: The polemics of Ibn Saḥnūn’, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 36 (2009), pp. 281-309 (published 2011).

Most of these and various other publications can be accessed via


IMG_6389Professor Meira Polliack

Meira Polliack is Full Professor of Bible at the Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University. She received her BA cum laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1988), and MPhil (1989) and PhD (1993) from Cambridge University, England. Her professional experience includes a research assistantship at the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library (1992-5); Lady Davis post-doctoral fellowship, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1995-6) and the Alon Fellowship Lectureship, Department of Bible, Tel Aviv University (1996-9). Polliack served as head of the Bible Program at the Department of Hebrew Culture Studies, Tel Aviv University, and Chair of the Teaching Committee of the D Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University (2006-9). She was Jacob and Hilda Blaustein visiting professor of Judaic Studies at Yale University (2009-10), and was head of the Interdisciplinary Program in Jewish Studies at the Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University (2010-13). She was chair of the Teaching Committee of the Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University (2011-2014). Since 2008 she is the senior academic coordinator of the research project on the culture of Jews of the medieval Islamic world at the Center for Diaspora Research, Tel Aviv University.

Polliack’s Research Interests are Medieval Bible translation and exegesis; modern literary approaches to the Bible; Judaeo-Arabic literature; Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic sources in the Cairo Genizah; intellectual and cultural history of the Jews in the medieval Islamic world; historical development of biblical hermeneutics and notions of biblical narrative.

Select Publications

The Karaite Tradition of Arabic Bible Translation: A Linguistic and Exegetical Study of the Karaite Translations of the Pentateuch from the Tenth to the Eleventh (Leiden: Brill, 1997).
Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections, Arabic Old Series (T-S ar.1a-54) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 [with C.F. Baker]).
— (Ed.) Karaite Judaism: A Guide to its History and Literary Sources (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2003.
— (With Eliezer Schlossberg.) ‘Historical-literary, Rhetorical and Redactional Methods of Interpretation in Yefet ben Eli’s Introduction to the Minor Prophets’. In Exegesis and Grammar in Medieval Karaite Texts (ed. Geoffrey Khan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 1-39.
— ‘Arabic Bible Translations in the Cairo Genizah Collections’, in Jewish Studies in a New Europe (ed. Ulf Haxen et al. Copenhagen: C. A. Reitzel A/S International Publishers, 1998, pp. 595-620.
— ‘Bible Translations: Judeo-Arabic (Ninth to the Thirteenth Centuries), in Encyclopedia of the Jews of the Islamic World, Volume One (ed. Norman A. Stillman. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2010), pp. 464-469.

Editorial Work

From 2006 – Section Editor (Medieval Arabic Speaking World), Encyclopedia of the Jews in the Islamic World (Executive editor: Norman A. Stillman. Brill).
From 2007—General Editor (with Michael G. Wechsler) of the Series Karaite Texts and Studies, in association with the series Études sur le judaïsme médiéval (editor: Paul Fenton, Brill).
From 2012 — Area Editor (Arabic Translations) of The Handbook of the Textual History of the Bible (general editors: Armine Langue, Emmanuel Tov. Brill).

andreas_kaplony_kleinProfessor Andreas Kaplony

Andreas Kaplony is Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, LMU Munich ( He has published widely on Arab-Islamic history, including Umayyad-Byzantine diplomacy (1996), Muslim, Jewish and Christian pre-crusade conceptions of the Ḥaram of Jerusalem (2002), pre-Mongol Arabic and Persian geography and cartography of Central Asia (2008) and 13th century Arabic business letters from the Red Sea (2014). He serves as a managing director of the Arabic Papyrology Database and the Archive of Arabic Talk shows.

Ronny VollandtProfessor Ronny Vollandt 

Ronny Vollandt (PhD, Cambridge), who was recently appointed Professor of Judaic Studies at LMU, originally joined the project in 2013 as a Postdoc Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin. His research focuses not only on Arabic translations of the Bible by Jews and Christians, but also on exegetical works in Arabic. At present he is working on a monograph on Sa‘adya Gaon’s Judaeo-Arabic Pentateuch translation. Within the Biblia Arabica project, Vollandt’s responsibilities include the charting, description, and analysis of Christian-Arabic translation traditions of the Bible. Moreover, he is preparing a comprehensive bibliography of studies on the Bible in Arabic, which will be an indispensable tool for current and future scholars working in this field.

Affiliated Leaders

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Professor Sabine Schmidtke

Sabine Schmidtke is Professor of Islamic Intellectual History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. She has a BA (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1986), an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (1987), and a D. Phil. from the University of Oxford (1990). She did her Habilitation at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn (1990).  From 1991 to 1999 she was a diplomat at the German Foreign Office. After teaching Islamic Studies in Bonn (1997-1999) and Berlin (1999-2001), she was offered the Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Vienna (2002), which she declined in favour of a professorship in Berlin. She held fellowships at the Institutes of Advanced Study in Princeton (2008-2009), Jerusalem (2002, 2003; 2005-2006) and Tel Aviv (2011), the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia (2010) and the Scaliger Institute in Leiden (together with C. Adang, 2007) and is the recipient of an 1,86 million Euro Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (2008-2013), as well as various other grants from the Henkel Foundation (2006-2007, 2008), the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (2005-2007, 2010-2011), the Einstein Foundation Berlin (2011-2015), the DFG together with the NEH (2010-2013), the German Foreign Office (2010) as well as a Koselleck grant (DFG).  She has been coordinating a number of international research groups and convened a number of international conferences in Berlin, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Princeton and Madrid.

Schmidtke’s main research interests are Islamic Studies; Jewish and Christian Oriental Studies; and the Intellectual History of the Islamicate World.

Her publications can be accessed at:


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