The 3rd Advanced School in the Humanities:

Literary Genres and Their Changing Functions among Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Event date: May 14 - May 15, 2018

    Sabine Schmidtke (Institute For Advanced Studies Princeton, N.J.)
    Guy G. Stroumsa (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Oxford University)


    IIAS (Jerusalem)-Institute For Advanced Studies (Princeton, N.J) Joint Workshop in the Humanities [Phase 2]


    Since late antiquity, and until the end of the Middle Ages, a number of literary genres were developed and used in written communication among Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities all around the Mediterranean.

    These genres had a number of functions, both within each community and between communities. They expressed religious, scientific, or political ideas. They evolved with social changes and historical transformations, to which they may also have contributed.

    These literary genres include exegetical works, legal discussions, theological treatises, mystical texts, polemical and heresiological literature, inter-religious dialogues, religious poetry, (auto)biographies, bibliographical literature, and so on.

    A large body of scholarship exists on literary genres in the different religious communities, but much work remains to be done in seeking to develop a global approach to these phenomena, across the different religious communities. The purpose of the 2018 Advanced School in the Humanities is to study them in comparative perspective.


    The School is open to young scholars (advanced graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty) from Israel and from abroad. Some financial help available (partial travel and lodging expenses).


    Registration online.


    List of Speakers 


    NAME                                                                                                                                        Topic                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

    Jonathan Decter (Brandeis University)


    Steven Harvey (Bar-Ilan University)

    Detecting a Genre:  Arabic and Judeo-Arabic Writings on al-Milal wa’l-niḥal (Religious Communities and Sects)

    Joining Cultures through Divisions of Knowledge

    Katja Krause Harvard (University and Max-Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte) 


    Joining Cultures through Divisions of Knowledge

    Reimund Leicht (Hebrew University)

    Poets, translators, philosophers: The contribution of poets to the philosophical and scientific discourse in the Hebrew language in the 13th and 14th century

    Maren Niehofff (Hebrew University)

    The rise of Psalms in Philo and Paul

    Sarah Stroumsa (Hebrew University) 

    Aristotelian Logic and Its Different Contexts in the Medieval Islamicate World


    Krisztina Szilágyi (University of Cambridge)

    Minority Polemics: Debate-Related Literature from the ‘Abbāsids to the Ottomans

    Judith Weiss (Ben Gurion University)

    Psychological Itineraries through Celestial Hierarchies: The Cases of Victorine Mysticism and Castilian Hekhalot Literature in the Thirteenth Century

    Oded Zinger (Hebrew University)


    Yonathan Moss (Hebrew University) 

    Women's letters of request in medieval Egypt


    Genres and Geography: The Impact of the Holy Land on Ancient Christian Literary Production