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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Middle Eastern Studies
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Email address: 

I took up Hebrew on a whim as a mathematics undergraduate in Budapest. Hebrew gave me the idea of studying Arabic and eventually led to degrees in Jewish and Arabic Studies from Eötvös Loránd University. As an exchange student in Damascus, I was fascinated by the array of flourishing Christian churches in the centre of the city, an experience that sparked my initial interest in the religious maze that is the Middle East. Later the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where I did an MA in Religious Studies, provided a perfect setting to explore the medieval religious world of the region. During the years I spent as a Ph.D. student at the Department of Near Eastern Studies of Princeton University, I studied Christian literary responses to the rise of Islam. My dissertation explored Eastern Christian and Muslim stories of Muhammad’s death. After another spell under the Mediterranean sun, studying Byzantine anti-Islamic literature as a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, I arrived in the U.K. as a junior research fellow at Trinity College, and stayed on as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Teaching responsibilities: 

Dr Szilágyi teaches a course on the history of Islam to undergraduate students.

Research interests: 

My main interest is in the religious interfaces of the medieval Middle East, especially in the question of how Islam shaped Christianity and Judaism in its orbit and was at the same time shaped by them.

Articles, Book Chapters etc

A Fragment of a Book of Physics from the David Kaufmann Genizah Collection (Budapest) and the Identity of Ibn Daud with Avendauth Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism 16 pp. 11-31 (2016)
A Fragment of a Composition on Physics by Abraham Ibn Daud in Judeo-Arabic: An Edition of the Text Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism 16 pp. 33-38 (2016)
Chapter 3: The Disputation of the Monk Abraham of Tiberias Samuel Noble and Alexander Treiger (ed.) The Orthodox Church in the Arab World (700-1700): An Anthology of Sources pp. 90-111, pp. 300-308 (2014)
Christian Learning about Islam in the Early ‘Abbāsid Caliphate: The Muslim Sources of the Disputation of the Monk Abraham of Tiberias Jens Scheiner and Damien Janos (ed.) The Place to Go: Contexts of Learning in Baghdad, 750-1000 C.E. pp. 267-342 (2014)
A Prophet like Jesus? The First Christian Polemical Narratives of Muhammad’s Death and Their Muslim Sources Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 36 pp. 131-171 (2009)
Christian Books in Jewish Libraries: Fragments of Christian Arabic Writings from the Cairo Genizah Ginzei Qedem 2 pp. 107-162 (2006)

Undergraduate courses taught