Material and Linguistic History of Arabic Manuscripts in Muslim and Jewish Contexts

13 March, 2023

We are deeply honoured to welcome Dr Nick Posegay, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK, to lead a session of  the International Interfaith Reading Group on Manuscripts in Interfaith Contexts.

Here are the details of this fascinating session.

Topic: Material and Linguistic History of Arabic Manuscripts in Muslim and Jewish Contexts

Abstract: During the medieval period, Arabic, the holy language of Islam, became a lingua franca for many people in the Middle East. Even Jewish communities, who still copied their Bible in Hebrew and Aramaic, adopted Arabic as the language of everyday life. Thousands of Arabic manuscripts produced and consumed by medieval Jews have thus survived in the Cairo Genizah, a hidden repository of manuscripts preserved by the Jews of Old Cairo. Among them, we find the work of Jewish scribes writing in an Arabicised and Islamicised context, producing unique manuscripts that preserve their particular Arabic dialects. We also find Islamic texts, undoubtedly produced by Muslims, that were acquired and used by Jews. This talk explores both of these types of Arabic manuscripts to show what they can teach us about the linguistic and theological interactions between two different religious groups.

Speaker: Dr Nick Posegay, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Speaker’s biography: Dr. Posegay is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. He researches interfaith exchange in the intellectual history of Middle Eastern languages. He earned his PhD as a Gates Cambridge Scholar in Middle Eastern Studies (2021). Dr Posegay is a member of Corpus Christi College. Previously, he completed a BA in Near Eastern Languages/Religious Studies (2016) and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies (2017) at the University of Chicago. He is also a member of the Cambridge Interfaith Research Forum and a former Research Associate at the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit. His book, Points of Contact, won the British and Irish Association of Jewish Studies (BIAJS) Annual Book Prize for 2022. If you are interested in Nick’s work, please, follow him @NPosegay.

Chair: Regius Professor Geoffrey Khan FBA, Professor of Semitic Philology at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Date: 13 March, 2023

Time: 18:00-19:00 GMT I 11:00-12:00 PDT | 14:00-15:00 EDT

Venue: Online

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If you would like to join the International Interfaith Reading Group on Manuscripts in Interfaith Contexts please, register HERE.

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