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About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Research Departments Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins

Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins

Our research and teaching focuses on the formative stages of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We study their dynamic interrelationship in the context of ancient Near Eastern, Graeco-Roman and late antique cultures. How did Judaism, Christianity and Islam develop out of the cultural matrices of antiquity, from the beginnings of Judaism until the beginnings of Islam? Our expertise covers a wide range of sources and fields, including the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism; Qumran, the New Testament and early Christianity; Gnosticism and Nag Hammadi; and Qur’an and early Islam.

Scholarly and Societal Relevance

In the contemporary discourse about religion, many people base their claims on particular perspectives on the origins and sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To be able to assess modern claims and views, a thorough grounding in these traditions and an understanding of their origins is necessary. The department of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins is one of the very few academic institutions worldwide where the origins of ‘Abrahamic’ religions are studied in a comparative way, encompassing both the interaction between each religion and its specific cultural context, as well as the interaction between these religions in their formative stages.

Last modified:27 May 2016 3.30 p.m.