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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Prof. Dr. Johanna Pink

Prof. Dr. Johanna Pink

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Islamic Studies
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2015 - March 2016 / April - July 2017


Johanna Pink received her MA degree from the University of Bonn in 1998 and her PhD from the same university with a dissertation on new religious communities in Egypt in 2002. She held positions as a postdoctoral fellow, researcher and lecturer at the University of Tuebingen and the Free University Berlin from 2002 to 2009. Between 2009 and 2011 she acted as a visiting professor at these two universities and was then granted a Heisenberg fellowship by the German Research Foundation (DFG). She has been Professor for Islamic Studies and the History of Islam at the University of Freiburg since 2012.

Her research interests include early modern and modern Qur‘anic exegesis, Qur‘an translations with a special focus on Indonesia, the status of non-Muslims in Muslim majority societies and religious discourses, and the recent history of Egypt.

Selected Publications

  • (2015) „Striving for a new exegesis of the Qur’an“, in: Sabine Schmidtke (Hrsg.), Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology, Oxford [Oxford University Press]. [Vorabversion online erschienen.]
  • (2014) „Where does modernity begin? Muhammad al-Shawkani and the tradition of tafsir“, in: Johanna Pink/ Andreas Görke (Hrsg.), Tafsir: Exploring the Boundaries of a Genre, Oxford [Oxford University Press].
  • (2014): Geschichte Ägyptens. Von der Spätantike bis zur Gegenwart, München: C. H. Beck.
  • (2011): Sunnitischer Tafsir in der modernen islamischen Welt. Akademische Traditionen, Popularisierung und nationalstaatliche Interessen, Leiden: Brill.
  • (2003) Neue Religionsgemeinschaften in Ägypten. Minderheiten im Spannungsfeld von Glaubensfreiheit, öffentlicher Ordnung und Islam, Würzburg [Ergon].


FRIAS Research Project

Contemporary Qur’anic exegesis in historical perspective

The goal of this project is to produce a monograph on the contemporary Muslim exegesis of the Qur‘an. By situating current Muslim exegetical activity in a broader historical perspective, it will contribute to the emerging field of the intellectual history of Qur‘anic exegesis. Unlike many previous approaches, it aims at understanding the modern period, in spite of all the innovations it brought about, as an integral part of that history. Instead of favouring an exclusive focus on such exegetical approaches that might be considered “original”, “modern” or “radical” and that try to distinguish themselves from pre-modern forms of exegesis, this book wants to gain a complete picture of recent and current exegetical activity. It treats this period as part of the intellectual history of a discipline that can only fully be understood by taking into account continuities, as well as ruptures. Furthermore, it questions the conventional idea of a monolithic “Muslim modernity” that supposedly began in the late 19th century and lasts until this day. Instead, it proposes a nuanced view that acknowledges the emergence of “modern classics” as part of a “genealogical tradition”, the articulation of post-modern ideas, and the explicit or implicit appropriation of pre-modern ideas and methods. Based on translated texts from a wide range of contemporary exegetical works in various languages, it explores the development and reception of central ideas and hermeneutical approaches, thus offering a survey of a field that has hitherto been lacking.