Call for Papers for Early Career Scholars

A Christian Arabic inscription featuring a cross and Aramaic dots over the dāls, see Younis al‐Shdaifat et al. “An Early Christian Arabic Graffito Mentioning ‘Yazīd the King’,”

The ERC project “The Qurʾan as a Source for Late Antiquity” (QaSLA) has opened its call for papers for the conference Islamic Tradition at the End of Late Antiquity: New Perspectives on Hadith, History, and Historiography, to be held in Tübingen, Germany, from July 8–10, 2024.

The three-day conference aims at attracting contributions to the scholarly discourse on Islamic tradition and the late antique milieu, particularly studies that pursue connections between the hadith literature, Islamicate historiography, and Jewish and Christian traditions from the period of Islam’s emergence.

The conference is oriented towards exploring new connections between Islam and the late antique milieu, while shifting the emphasis to the hadith, broadly defined. Can the hadith prove to be a reliable source for historical inquiry into the 7th century, despite its codification in the 9th century? And, if so, can other genres of hadith convey insights that contradict or confirm the tafsīr tradition? How might different methodological approaches to the hadith and improved analytical techniques shed new light on the Qurʾan and its environment? And how is the hadith, if at all, a witness to the existence of and the specific cultural and religious impact of Jewish, Christian, or other communities in Arabia?

While we are particularly interested in scholarly contributions that engage with the preceding questions, we welcome other avenues of inquiry into the hadith, Islamic late antiquity, and the interaction of Jews, Christians, and (other) Arabian peoples in and around the 7th century CE. By way of example, themes to be addressed include:

1. Methodological approaches to the study of Muslim traditions: hadith, tafsīr, and akhbār

2. Judeo-Christian elements in hadith, such as the isrāʾīliyyāt, and other Islamic literature

3. Interactions between Islamic and other late antique legal and juridical ideas

4. Portrayals of Jews and Christians in Islamic tradition


Travel and accommodation expenses in Tübingen for the duration of the research symposium will be covered by QaSLA.

This call for papers invites Early Career Researchers (PhD candidates and within five years of the award of the PhD). It seeks to promote outstanding research of early career scholars and bring them in conversation with established scholars of Hadith Studies and Late Antiquity as well as historians of early Islam.

Please note that all proposals must include:

·         Author name and affiliation

·         C.V.

·         Paper title

·         250-word paper abstract (written in English)


Abstract Due: July 31st, 2023

For questions and proposals contact:

Ana Davitashvili:

Raashid Goyal:

The Jews of Medina and the Challenge of Early Islamic Historiography

Mazuz book cover

Cover of Mazuz, Religious and Spiritual Lives of the Jews of Medina (Brill, 2014). Image from

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research 2, no. 2, Michael Pregill reviews Haggai Mazuz’s The Religious and Spiritual Lives of the Jews of Medina (Leiden: Brill, 2014). This work not only seeks to establish the historicity of much of the data the traditional sources offer us on the culture, customs, and traditions of the Jewish communities of the Ḥijāz in Muhammad’s time, but proposes to offer a conclusive demonstration of the squarely halakhic nature of these Jews. According to Mazuz, much of what the classical Islamic sources relate about Muhammad’s Jewish contemporaries can be correlated with data about Jewish ideas and practices found in the Babylonian Talmud and other mainstream rabbinic sources, which he interprets as proof that these Arabian communities were essentially rabbinic in orientation.

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