Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Dr. Uriel Simonsohn


2013–now Lecturer, Department of Middle Eastern History, University of Haifa.

2010–2013 Post-doctoral fellow, The Martin Buber Society of Fellows, The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem.

2008–2010 Post-doctoral fellow, The Institute for Religious Studies, Leiden University.


Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2008. Dissertation: „Overlapping
Jurisdictions: Confessional Boundaries and Judicial Choice among Christians and Jews under Early Muslim Rule.“ Committee: Mark Cohen, Michael Cook, Peter Brown, William Jordan.

M. Phil. in Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 2005. Generals fields: Late Antiquity,
early Islamic social history, Near Eastern Jewish history.

M.A. (cum laude) in Jewish and Islamic history, Tel Aviv University, 2003.  Thesis: „The Status
of the Dhimmis within the Fatimid Imamate in Egypt.“ Committee: David Wasserstein, Camilla Adang.

B.A. in Modern Middle Eastern and Medieval Jewish History, Tel Aviv University, 2000.

Research Concentrations

  • Early Islamic history
  • Late antique and medieval Jewish history
  • Late antique Christianity, Eastern Christianity
  • Medieval Near Eastern and Mediterranean social and religious history
  • Narrative and identity in Islamic and Eastern Christian historiography
  • Gaonica
  • Judeo-Arabic culture and society
  • Intellectual and legal literature of the Eastern churches
  • Inter-religious encounters
  • Conversion to Islam
  • Religiously-mixed families

Functions within the Center

Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz (July–August 2016)

Research project “Non-Muslim Women as Conduits of Religious Ideas and Practices in the Early Islamic Period”


A Common Justice: The Legal Allegiances of Christians and Jews under Early Islam. Divinations:
Rereading Late Ancient Religion, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011

„Communal Membership despite Religious Exogamy: A Critical Examination of East and West Syrian Legal
Sources of the Late Sasanian – Early Islamic periods“, JNES (2016) forthcoming

„The Introduction and Formalization of Civil Law in the East Syrian Church in the Late Sasanian – Early
Islamic Periods“, History Compass, 14/5 (2016): 231-44.

„The Legal and Social Bonds of Jewish Apostates and Their Spouses according to Gaonic Responsa“, Jewish Quarterly Review 105.4 (2015): 417-39.

„The Pact of ʿUmar in Religious and Cultural Contexts“, Historia, 35/1 (2015) [In Hebrew]: 31-64.

„Conversion to Islam: A Case Study for the Use of Legal Sources“, History Compass, 11/8 (2013): 647-662.

„‘Halting Between Two Opinions’: Conversion and Apostasy in Early Islam“, Medieval Encounters, 19/3
(2013): 342-370.

„The Biblical Narrative in the Annales of Saʿīd ibn Baṭrīq and the Question of Medieval Byzantine-
Orthodox Identity“, Islam and Christian Muslim Relations 22/1 (2011): 37-55.

„The Christians Whose Force is Hard: Non-Ecclesiastical Judicial Authorities in the Early Islamic
Period“, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53/4 (2010): 579-620.

„Seeking Justice among the ‘Outsiders’: Christian Recourse to Non-Ecclesiastical Judicial Systems under
Early Islam“, Church History and Religious Culture 89/1-2 (2009): 191-216.

„Communal Boundaries Reconsidered: Jews and Christians Appealing to Muslim Authorities in the
Medieval Near East“, Jewish Studies Quarterly 14/4 (2007): 328-363.