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ERC Project "The European Qur'an: Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion"

£19,643 per year (fees being covered)

The University of Kent and the University of Erfurt / Forschungszentrum Gotha are recruiting a candidate for a fully funded PhD position in the ERC project  “The European Qur’an: Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion (1150-1850)” (EuQu). 

This is an exciting opportunity for an aspiring researcher to be involved in a highly visible, international collaborative research project that involves academic institutions in Europe and beyond. We offer outstanding work and research conditions, competitive scholarship, funded travel opportunities, options for prolonged stays at partner universities and involvements in ventures at the forefront of cultural studies and digital humanities. You will be conducting research under the supervision of leading scholars in the field of Christian-Muslim relations and early modern intellectual and global history and have the opportunity to collaborate and exchange with colleagues from a wide range of disciplinary, institutional and personal backgrounds.
Project Summary

“The European Qur’an: Islamic Scripture in European Culture and Religion” (EuQu) is a six-year research project funded through a synergy grant from the European Research Council (ERC).  Its four principal investigators (and host institutions) are Mercedes García-Arenal (Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Madrid, Spain), John Tolan (Université de Nantes), Jan Loop (University of Kent) and Roberto Tottoli (Università di Napoli l’Orientale).

The project studies the ways in which the Islamic Holy Book is embedded in the intellectual, religious and cultural history of Medieval and Early Modern Christians, European Jews, freethinkers, atheists and European Muslims. We will conduct research on how the Qur’an has been translated, interpreted, adapted and used in Christian Europe from the Middle Ages through to early modern history, in order to understand how the Holy Book has influenced both culture and religion in Europe.  EuQu will look at the role of the Qur’an in interactions with Islam, in debates between Christians of different beliefs and in critiques of Christianity during the Enlightenment.

The six-year project will produce interdisciplinary research through scientific meetings across Europe, a GIS-database of Qur’an manuscripts, translations and other works in which the Qur'an is discussed, and through PhD theses and monographs. It will bring the fruits of this research to non-academic audiences though a creative multimedia exhibition on the place of the book in European cultural heritage.

Candidates should consult the full description of the project, available at: http://proyectos.cchs.csic.es/corpi/sites/default/files/attachments/euqu_project_description.pdf

Dissertation topics

All innovative dissertation topics and research proposals are welcome, as long as they clearly fit the themes and structure of the EuQu project and are situated within the expertise of the supervisors (early modern global history)

(for a list of projects see http://proyectos.cchs.csic.es/corpi/sites/default/files/attachments/euqu_project_description.pdf)

We particularly welcome proposals on the topic The Qur'an and Anti-Trinitarianism, which assess the significance of the Qur'an and of Islam in the radical Reformation and in anti-Trinitarian movements between the 16th and the 18th century. 

Responsibilities of the researchers

The PhD student will be part of the EuQu international team of researchers.
In addition to researching and writing their dissertations, the PhD student will also be expected to perform research tasks in connection with the subject of their dissertation.  These tasks will include, for example:

  • Bibliographical research:  
    • Identifying manuscripts and printed books of interest to the project
    • Identifying recent scholarship and contacting scholars
  • Database management:
    • Writing and editing entries (in English) on manuscripts and printed editions of the Qur’an, anti-Qur’an polemics, and other texts (in relation to each student’s dissertation topic)
    • Writing prosopographical entries on owners, editors and publishers of these manuscripts and books
    • Identifying specialists in the field and inviting them to contribute to the database
  • Participating in regular team meetings (including periodic seminars and workshops), in Kent and at other EuQu partner institutions and in their planning

Scholarship conditions

The student will be based and registered at the University of Kent. However, He/she will spend part of the time at the Forschungszentrum Gotha and will be expected to travel frequently for conferences, workshops and research stays with partner institutions in Europe (funded by the project). There will also be office spaces provided at Kent's Paris centre.


The Candidate:

Candidates should have a recent master’s degree (or equivalent) in the humanities, ideally with a specialisation in early modern religious history in Europe.  They should have a high level of competence in the necessary languages (e.g. Latin, Hungarian, Ottoman Turkish) and experience in archival work and paleography. The student will be enrolled at the University of Kent under the supervision of Dr Jan Loop, and will be co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Martin Mulsow (Universität Erfurt).

How to apply

Applications for this studentship must be made via the University of Kent application form


Selected applicants will be interviewed 21-23 May 2019. The interviews will be conducted by EuQu’s four principal investigators. Applicants will be interviewed via videoconference. Those candidates who prefer to be interviewed in person may come to Madrid for interviews, but no travel expenses will be paid to interviewees. Fuller details about interviews will be sent to chosen candidates before May 15th.
Applicants will subsequently be informed of the results of their application by the end of May.

Informal enquiries about the project and the scholarship can be sent to Dr Jan Loop
j.loop@kent.ac.uk or to euqu@cchs.csic.es


The deadline for this award has now passed.

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