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Postdoc: Muslim converts and the formation of Islamic civilization (Haifa: 2017-18)

The Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters (I-Core), is seeking to recruit 2 Post-doctoral research fellows to contribute to a project dealing with the significance of Muslim converts in the formation of Classical Islamic civilization under the direction of Dr. Uriel Simonsohn of the department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa.

This project aims to study the careers and biographies of converts to Islam who fulfilled roles as courtiers, administrators, scholars, and cultural brokers in the Classical Islamic period, i.e. 640s – 1258, in the Near East and Mediterranean Basin. In particular, the project seeks to consider cases of converts to Islam who served in these capacities in order to assess the circumstances that facilitated their activities, the role of their previous religious affiliation in their careers as Muslims, the endurance of their relations with their previous coreligionists, and, most importantly, their relative contribution as a social category to the formation and development of Islamic civilization.

Members of the project will assist in surveying and gathering relevant data found in sources of diverse literary, material, and linguistic types, and of diverse religious and geographic backgrounds.

Accordingly, preference will be given to candidates who are well immersed in Islamic history and
proficient in at least two Near Eastern languages, especially, but not exclusively, Arabic, Classical Armenian, Classical Greek, Hebrew, Middle Persian, and Syriac.

The term of appointment is for one year and may commence any time post acceptance. Fellows will receive a one year stipend of 90,000 NIS with additional funding for travel, accommodation (for non-Israelis), and research needs.

The fellows will be expected to contribute to the research objectives of the project and to be active members in the Center for the Study of Conversion - attending the bi-weekly seminars at Ben-Gurion University, and making regular contribution to the Center’s database of converts.
Candidates are asked to send the following materials for consideration:
• A cover letter
• CV (including publications and languages)
• A writing sample
• Names and contact details of two referees (letters will be solicited after a shortlist is composed)

Please send the requested material by February 1st, 2017, as well as any questions to

Source: Uriel Simonsohn

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