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From Late Medieval to Early Modern: 13th to 16th Century Islamic Philosophy And Theology

Final Report Summary - IMPACT (From Late Medieval to Early Modern: 13th to 16th Century Islamic Philosophy And Theology)

During the reporting period, the IMPAcT team carried out research on the 13th to 16th century Islamicate intellectual history and its written legacy, with a particular focus on the following eight scholars and their works:

The universalist historian, intellectual, and statesman of the Mongol Ilkhanate Rashīd al-Dīn (d. 1318; Judith Pfeiffer); the Ilkhanid mystic ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla Simnānī (d. 1336, Giovanni Maria Martini); the Timurid occultist and lettrist Ṣāʾin al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Turka (d. 1432; Matthew Melvin-Koushki); the Mamluk Hanafi jurist and ḥadīth scholar Ibn Quṭlūbughā (d. 1474; Talal Al-Azem), the Timurid Sufi and litterateur ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 1492, Ertuğrul Ökten), the Ottoman kadi, theologian and bibliophile ʿAbd al-Raḥman b. ʿAlī b. Muʾayyad a.k.a. Müeyyedzade (d. 1516, Judith Pfeiffer), the Ottoman Kurdish religious scholar, administrator, and historian Idris-i Bitlisī (d. 1520, Christopher Markiewicz), and the Mamluk ‘historian of Damascus’ ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Nuʿaymī (d. 1521, Talal Al-Azem).

The IMPAcT team members carried out these individual projects based largely on manuscript research, including during field work in Tashkent, Istanbul, Leiden, and Paris, organized panels and lecture series both in Oxford and abroad, presented papers at local and international workshops and conferences in Oxford, Istanbul, Denver, Tashkent, Chicago, Jerusalem, Gotha, Bamberg, Bonn, Seoul, Tokyo, Stanford, London, Tübingen, Paris, and Madrid, and prepared for publication a selection of hitherto unpublished primary sources, articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and monographs related to the abovenamed Muslim scholars of the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Highlights included:

Sushila Burgess, IMPAcT’s IT developer, completed the development of the database in collaboration with the IMPAcT team, and published its code at which is now freely available for use by any projects that may be interested in it.

The IMPAcT lecture series on Islamicate Intellectual History, which highlighted current cutting edge research and brought together international scholars, IMPAcT team members, researchers, and graduate students from the University of Oxford. Each of the lectures generated lively debates across a broad geography and wide range of ‘generations’ of modern researchers (see, for instance, and two conferences on “Maragha and its Scholars. The Intellectual Culture of Medieval Maragha, ca. 1250-1550” (conference held in in Istanbul, December 2013: and on “Confessional Ambiguity, ʿAlid loyalty, and tashayyuʿ ḥasan in the 13th to 16th Century Nile to Oxus Region” (conference held in Oxford, September 2014:

In order to establish a platform through which the study of the late medieval and early modern periods of Islamicate intellectual history can be supported in the long term, the PI has founded in 2012 the book series Islamicate Intellectual History: Studies and Texts ( _philosophy_2013.pdf). With the two co-editors located in Germany (Professor Heidrun Eichner, Tübingen) and the U.S.A. (Professor Shahzad Bashir, Stanford) respectively, the series has a far reach both intellectually and geographically. Two volumes have already been published. Currently there are a further twelve volumes in the publication ‘pipeline.’ (

Two of the team members, Matthew Melvin-Koushki (Ph.D. Yale), and Christopher Markiewicz (Ph.D. The University of Chicago), completed their dissertations under the auspices of IMPAcT at Oxford and were awarded the annual MESA (Middle East Studies Association of North America) Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award for the best dissertation of the year in the field in 2012 and 2016 respectively (see

The PI, Judith Pfeiffer, was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn, which is endowed with 3.5 Mio Euro permitting her to establish an Alexander von Humboldt Kolleg for Islamicate Intelletual History there that will continue and take to a further level the work begun with the ERC project IMPAcT at the University of Oxford (