Dr. Dennis Halft

Buber Fellow: 
2018
Research Field: 

Islamic Studies; Christian Theology

Academic interests: 

• Interreligious interactions, Muslim-Christian and Muslim-Jewish encounters;
• Islamic intellectual history, Twelver Shīʿism;
• Islamic material culture, archaeology and manuscript studies;
• Muslim study of the Bible, Arabic and Persian translations of biblical books;
• Safavid Iran, religion and politics;
• Theology of religions, in both Christian and Muslim traditions.

Current Projects: 

Twelver Shīʿī-Jewish interactions in early modern Iran; a critical edition of Anbāʾ al-anbiyāʾ (“Tidings of the Prophets”), a Persian polemical work by the 18th-century Jewish convert to Islam Ismāʿīl Qazvīnī.

Curriculum Vitae: 
  • 2018-present, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • 2016-2018, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva.
  • 2017, Dr. Phil. in Islamic Studies, Free University, Berlin.
  • 2016, Dipl. Theol. in Catholic Theology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz.
  • 2015, Aquinas Visiting Scholar, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS), Toronto, ON.
  • 2008, Magister Artium in Islamic Studies (major), Iranian Studies and Comparative Religious Studies (minors), Free University, Berlin.
  • 2006-2007, Full-time adviser on Lebanon and the German civil reconstruction program, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Bonn.
Publications: 
Articles
  •  (2018) “Ismāʿīl Qazvīnī”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, vol. 12 (Asia, Africa and the Americas 1700-1800), ed. D. Thomas and J. Chesworth, Leiden: Brill, 298-302.
  •  (2018) “Hovhannes Mrk‘uz Jułayec‘i”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, vol. 12 (Asia, Africa and the Americas 1700-1800), ed. D. Thomas and J. Chesworth, Leiden: Brill, 260-265.
  • (2018) “Zwischen Inkarnation, Christozentrik und Alterität. Claude Geffrés religionstheologischer Ansatz” [“Between Incarnation, Christocentrism and Otherness: Claude Geffré’s Approach to the Theology of Religions”], Wort und Antwort 59,2 [special issue on Geffré’s theology of religions], 62-67.
  • (2017) “Ismāʿīl Qazvīnī: A Twelfth/Eighteenth-Century Jewish Convert to Imāmī Šīʿism and His Critique of Ibn Ezra’s Commentary on the Four Kingdoms (Daniel 2:31-45),” in: M. L. Hjälm, ed., Senses of Scripture, Treasures of Tradition: The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims, Leiden: Brill, 280-304.
  • (2017) “Towards a New Perception of Islam: The Influence of Marie-Dominique Chenu’s Theology of Incarnation on Christian-Muslim Relations,” in: M. Attridge, D. Dias, M. Eaton, and N. Olkovich, eds, The Promise of Renewal: Dominicans and Vatican II, Adelaide: ATF Theology, 225-239.
  • (2017) Paolo Piromalli,” in: Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, vol. 10 (Ottoman and Safavid Empires 1600-1700), ed. D. Thomas and J. Chesworth, Leiden: Brill, 582-587.
  • (2017) “Sayyid Aḥmad ʿAlavī,” in: Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, vol. 10 (Ottoman and Safavid Empires 1600-1700), ed. D. Thomas and J. Chesworth, Leiden: Brill, 529-546.
  • (2017) Pietro della Valle. Risāla-yi Piṭrūs dillā Vāllī,” in: Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, vol. 10 (Ottoman and Safavid Empires 1600-1700), ed. D. Thomas and J. Chesworth, Leiden: Brill, 518-521.
  • (2016) “The ‘Book of Books’ in Persian,” in: M. Pehlivanian, Ch. Rauch, and R. Vollandt, eds, Oriental Bible Manuscripts from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK: An Illustrated History, Wiesbaden: Reichert, 150-154.
  • (2016) “A Persian Gospel Manuscript and the London Polyglot,” in: M. Pehlivanian, Ch. Rauch, and R. Vollandt, eds, Oriental Bible Manuscripts from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK: An Illustrated History, Wiesbaden: Reichert, 155-157.
  • (2014) “Saʿīd b. Ḥasan al-Iskandarī: A Jewish Convert to Islam. Editio princeps of the Later Recension (732/1331) of His Biblical ‘Testimonies’ to the Prophet Muḥammad,” Mélanges de l’Institut dominicain d’études orientales 30, 267-320.
  • (2013) “Hebrew Bible Quotations in Arabic Transcription in Safavid Iran of the 11th/17th Century: Sayyed Aḥmad ʿAlavī’s Persian Refutations of Christianity,” Intellectual History of the Islamicate World 1, 235-252.
  • (2012) “A Hitherto Unknown Persian Manuscript of Ḥosayn Vāʿeẓ Kašefī’s (d. 910/1504-05) Treatise on Ethics Aḫlaq-e moḥsenī in the Dominican Priory in Vienna,” Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 3, 103-115.