My research focuses on the history of trans-denominational intellectual thought in the pre-modern Islamicate world. As a matter of methodological preference and historiographical priority, my studies cut across established disciplinary boundaries and transgress real or imaginary borders between religious communities and schools of thought.

In the framework of the MAJLIS research project, I continue my long-standing work on manuscripts from the Firkovitch Collections at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg. A catalogue of the Arabsko-Yevreski subsection of the Second Firkovitch Collection will provide detailed palaeographical and codicological descriptions of roughly four hundred manuscripts dating to the late 10th and 11th centuries. The manuscripts of this subcollection, which are either written in Arabic script (including Hebrew in Arabic script) or in bi-alphabetical Arabic/Hebrew script, yield a hoard of valuable information about the functions and activities of the Qaraite dār al-ʿilm in Jerusalem. As material objects, they embody a dense network of relationships with other human and nonhuman agents. A second project investigates the institutional structure and history of the dār al-ʿilm through the life and œuvre of Yeshuʿah ben Yehudah (Abū l-Faraǧ Furqān b. Asad). His extensive literary output and teaching activities together with his wide-ranging networks of social and intellectual connections provide another access point to explore the institutional and intellectual profile of the dār al-ʿilm and its embeddedness in the larger sociocultural context. A third project entitled “Bibliotheca Polyglotta Karaitica” investigates the transmission, transformation, and translation of knowledge produced at the Jerusalemite dār al-ʿilm to other geographical and linguistic areas. It will shed new light on the character, purpose, and intended use of Byzantine Hebrew translations and offer a series of trilingual (Arabic–Hebrew–Greek) sample editions together with a trilingual lexicographical database. Beyond that, I am involved in several collaborative projects on Qaraite and Samaritan legal and exegetical texts in Arabic as well as studies in Muʿtazilī kalām and uṣūl al-fiqh.

Areas of Interest

Intellectual history of the Islamicate world; Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Kalām in Arabic; Muʿtazila; traditions of falsafa in (Judeo-)Arabic and Hebrew; Maimonides; Qaraite Judaism; Genizah studies; Firkovitch Collections; Arabic and Hebrew palaeography and codicology; Jewish and Samaritan Bible translations; scriptural exegesis and hermeneutics in Arabic; Copto-Arabic literature of the 13th and 14th centuries; interreligious polemics.

Historical Periods of Interest

9th through 15th centuries CE



Senior Research Associate in Judaic Studies, ERC-Project “MAJLIS: The Transformation of Jewish Literature in Arabic in the Islamicate World”, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), Munich


2020 – 2021

Fellow, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel


2015 – 2021

Editor-in-Chief, Index Islamicus, and Visiting Scholar, School of Oriental African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK



Lecturer for the MA program Intellectual Encounters of the Islamicate World, Freie Universität Berlin


2009 – 2013

Senior Research Associate, Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Freie Universität Berlin


2008 – 2009

Academic Director, Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations (CMJR), Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, Cambridge, UK



2004 – 2008

Research Associate, “Muʿtazilite Manuscripts Project”, Freie Universität Berlin




Dr. phil. in Islamic Studies (Freie Universität Berlin)



Research Fellowship, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and at Cambridge University Library, UK, supported by the Fondation Jean Nordmann (Fribourg, Switzerland)


1998 – 1999

Stage annuel de perfectionnement en langue arabe en vue de la recherche at the French Institute of Arabic Studies (IFEAD), Damascus, Syria


1994 – 1996

MA in Theology and Philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland; MA thesis at the chair of Medieval Philosophy


1992 – 1994

Studies in Jewish Thought, Philosophy and Semitic Languages at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel (research grant from the Swiss University Conference)


1989 – 1992

BA in Catholic Theology, Philosophy and Classics at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland



Member of Advisory Board, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy



Member of Advisory Board, Society for Judaeo-Arabic Studies



Member of Advisory Board, Intellectual History of the Islamicate World