Sabine Schmidtke

School of Historical Studies

Islamic Intellectual History


Historical Studies

Field of Study

Islamic Intellectual History

Home Institution

Institute for Advanced Study

Sabine Schmidtke is a scholar of Islamic intellectual history whose pioneering research has transformed perspectives on the interrelations and connections among different strands of intellectual inquiry, across time, place, religions, and philosophical schools. She has played a central role in the exploration of heretofore unedited and unknown theological and philosophical writings. Schmidtke has applied rigorous study to the edition and critical analysis of manuscripts in Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, and Persian, and her work extends from Arabic-speaking countries to Israel, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. Schmidtke is currently working on the history of Islamic thought in the post-classical period (thirteenth to nineteenth century), with a focus on reconstructing the textual heritage and the intellectual import of the Islamic intellectual world, from Iran and Central Asia to Turkey and Yemen. She is also engaged in a comprehensive study of the Muslim reception of the Bible, a topic on which she has published extensively over the past years.

Dates at IAS

School of Historical Studies
School of Historical Studies
School of Historical Studies


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
University of Oxford
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


Awards: Humboldt Research Award 2020; Dahlem Research School, Award for Excellent Supervision 2011; Written Heritage Centre, Prize for Scholarly Achievement in the Study of Twelver Shi'ism 2006; Islamic Republic of Iran, World Prize of the Book 2002
Correspondant étranger: L’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres
Editorships: Arabo-Islamica, Editor-in-Chief; Biblia Arabica: Texts and Studies, Editor-in-Chief; Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Editor-in-Chief; Shii Studies Review, Executive Editor; Makers of the Muslim World, Series Editor
Fellowships: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Fellow 2018; Leiden University, Centre for the Study of Islam and Society, LUCIS Visiting Fellow 2013; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Fellow-in-Residence 2012; Tel Aviv University, The Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies, Sackler Scholar 2011; Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Philadelphia, Fellow 2010-11
Memberships: Foreign Corresponding Member; American Philosophical Society, Accademia Ambrosiana, Laboratoire d’études sur les Monothéismes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique


Freie Universität Berlin
Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Founding Director 2011–14, Professor 2002–14, Visiting Professor 1999–2001
Freie Universität Berlin
Faculty (Professor of Islamic Studies)
German Foreign Office