Sabine Schmidtke is a scholar of Islamic intellectual history whose pioneering research has transformed perspectives about 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 and is regarded internationally as a leading philologist. 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 (13th to 19th centuries), 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 Spain. 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 five years.

Education and career

Schmidtke earned an undergraduate degree (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1986 and an M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1987. She got her D. Phil. from Oxford University in 1990. From 1991 to 1999 she was a diplomat in the German Foreign Office.

From 1997 to 1999 she was a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Bonn and did her Habilitation while there. From 1999 to 2014 she taught Islamic Studies at the Free University of Berlin where she was a Founding Director of the department of "Intellectual History of the Islamic World". She held also fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2002, 2003; 2005-2006), the Institutes of Advanced Study in Princeton (2008-2009), the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia (2010),[1] Tel Aviv University (2011), and the Scaliger Institute in Leiden University (2013).

In July 2014 she became Professor of Islamic Intellectual History in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study.[2]


    Die Bibel in den Augen muslimischer Gelehrter : mit einem Geleitwort von Martin Grötschel, Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamate World: Freie Universität Berlin, 2013, ISBN 3981561716

    The Theology of al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī K. Schwarz, Berlin, 1991, ISBN 3922968937

    Oxford handbook of islamic theology, Oxford University Press, 2016, ISBN 0199696705