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Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer

Islamic Studies, Münster University

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer

© DFG / David Ausserhofer

Thomas Bauer is an Islamic studies scholar who has combined the philological interpretation and editing of texts with an approach that is as broad as it is innovative, taking in historical considerations relating to culture and mentality, making his work potentially unique in the world. Bauer is known for his research into Arabic poetry, including the Onager Episode and the Abbasid Period. His work has already brought forth fundamentally new knowledge of the culture and mentality of the pre-modern Arab-Islamic world. His studies of the once neglected literature of the Mamluk and Ottoman periods have also produced groundbreaking results. Bauer's name is also associated with the (re-)discovery of Islam as a "culture of ambiguity". In a pioneering monograph, Bauer demonstrated that for many centuries Islam exhibited a marked openness for diversity and for a plurality of cultural discourses and actions, differing from the West's ancient and medieval traditions, and in contrast to the current reality in Islamic countries. These observations were met with enthusiasm among experts and journalists and are considered to be an important contribution to intercultural understanding beyond the academic context.

Thomas Bauer was born in 1961. He studied Islamic Studies and Semitic Philology in Erlangen-Nürnberg. Following his doctorate and habilitation, he conducted research in Regensburg, Heidelberg, and Erlangen-Nürnberg before becoming a professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Münster in 2000. In Münster Bauer also made a name for himself as a popular teacher and successful research organiser. He is the founder of the Centre of Religious Studies and board member of the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics."