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Fellow Goldstein, Dr. Miriam

Dr. Miriam Goldstein

 

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Arabic Languages and Literature

Project

The project will investigate theories of the origin of human language in medieval Arabic compositions by Muslims and Jews, focusing on scholars active in the 8th–15th centuries CE. I will examine how Muslim and Jewish linguists, jurisprudents, theologians and exegetes considered the question of how human language came about. These scholars had to contend with tradition on the one hand: descriptions of language as knowledge granted by God, as found in their canonical sacred texts via the story of "Adam and the names". On the other hand, they had become familiar with alternate, non-divine theories of language as "conventional", a product of human agreement, which they encountered in works translated from Greek and Sankrit increasingly becoming available in their milieu. Beginning at least as early as the tenth century, both Muslims and Jews began to consider the question of the origin of language, contending with their traditional texts as well as the theories they had inherited from classical sources. The research will be based on Arabic and Judeo-Arabic texts of a variety of genres, including philological works, exegesis, theology and legal theory.

Curriculum Vitae

Present Assistant Professor in Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2011 – present Direction together with Dr. Julia Rubanovich of ISF-funded project: "The borders of text: Prefaces, epilogues, and the emergence of authorship in medieval Middle Eastern literature"
2006 Ph.D. summa cum laude, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Department of Arabic Language and Literature
2011 Master of Philosophy, Oriental Studies University of Cambridge (British Marshall fellowship, 1999-2001)
1999

Master of Philosophy, Oriental Studies University of Cambridge (British Marshall fellowship, 1999-2001)

Publications

2013 "Abū l-Faraj Hārūn (Jerusalem, 11th c) on majāz, between uṣūl al-naḥw, uṣūl al-fiqh and i‘jāz al-Qur’ān", in: Der Islam 90.2, 369–404.
2011 "Models of interreligious interaction", in: D. Freidenreich, M. Goldstein (Eds.), Beyond religious borders: Interaction and intellectual exchange in the medieval Islamic world. Philadelphia.
2011 Karaite Exegesis in Medieval Jerusalem: The Judeo-Arabic Pentateuch Commentary of Yusuf ibn Nuh and Abu al-Faraj Harun, Tübingen (2011).
2011 D. Freidenreich, M. Goldstein (Eds.), Beyond religious borders: Interaction and intellectual exchange in the medieval Islamic world, Philadelphia (2011).
2010 "Early Jewish-Christian Polemic in Arabic: Judeo-Arabic Versions of Toledot Yeshu", in: Ginzei Qedem 6, 9*–42*.
2010 "Arabic Composition 101 and the Early Development of Judeo-Arabic Bible Exegesis", in: Journal of Semitic Studies 55, 451–478.