The Islamic Psalms of David in Ottoman Manuscript Collections

Many thanks to Lejla Demiri and her team for great conversations about the field of Muslim reception of the Bible, and about some fascinating textual examples, at a workshop they hosted in Tübingen September 27-29, 2023. My contribution was:

“The Islamic Psalms of David in Ottoman Manuscript Collections.” Workshop on Muslim Readings of the Bible, Center for Islamic Theology, University of Tübingen, Germany, September 28, 2023.

Here is a pdf of the handout with the text and images I presented.

Islamic Psalms of David – translated selections in Christian–Muslim Relations: Primary Sources

Several translated selections from the Islamic Zabur that are of special interest for Christian-Muslim relations, and that are also available in the affordable Bloomsbury Reader in Christian-Muslim Relations, are now also included in the monumental new three-volume anthology Christian–Muslim Relations: Primary Sources, edited by David Thomas and available from Bloomsbury. My contribution is:

“Islamic Psalms of David.” In Christian–Muslim Relations: Primary Sources, Volume 1, 600–1500, ed. David Thomas, et al., 33–36. London: Bloomsbury, 2023.

It includes the following excerpts:

  • A rewriting of the Biblical Psalm 2 that alludes to a Qur’anic verse and seeks to preempt the Christian view that Psalm 2 asserts Jesus’s divine sonship.
  • A prediction of Muhammad and of the corruption of the Bible.
  • Another psalm that predicts Muhammad, alludes to the Qur’an’s echo of Psalm 37:29, criticizes Christian worship, and tells a story involving a dragon.
  • An assertion that Muslims do better than Christians at fulfilling Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

On the Integration of Faith, Epistemology, and Vocation

The Harvey Fellowship, which helped and encouraged me through graduate school, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with a conference on integrating Christian faith and professional vocation, held at American University in Washington, DC, June 23-25, 2023. My paper was:

“Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection: On the Integration of Faith, Epistemology, and Vocation.” Harvey Fellows Conference on Integrating Faith & Vocation, Washington, DC, June 24, 2023.

Here is a pdf of the paper as presented.

Many thanks to Kristen Gustavson, Phyllis Stevenson, Olivia Mather, and Caleb Spencer for this rich and nourishing time, full of new friendships and needed reflection.

Methods and Motives for Mapping Complex Families of Manuscripts

At the 2023 British Association for Islamic Studies conference I  presented the mix of traditional stemmatic and digital methods I used to reconstruct the original core text of the Islamic Psalms of David:

“The Afterlife of an Ascetic Pseudo-Scripture: Methods and Motives for Mapping Complex Families of Manuscripts.” British Association for Islamic Studies, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, London, May 16, 2023.

My slides are available as a pdf here.

Four Contested Choices in the Invention of Islamic Law

I was honored with an invitation to present this paper, “Four Contested Choices in the Invention of a Revealed, Systematic, and Comprehensive Islamic Law,” for the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Pembroke College, Oxford, on March 13, 2023. It is an improved version of a paper presented in Bad Homburg in July 2022.

The slides are available here as a pdf.