Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Forum for Jewish-Muslim Theology and Thought


Ufuk Topkara is a Muslim theologian and Assistant Professor for Comparative Theology in Islamic Perspective at the Institute for Islamic Theology, Humboldt University in Berlin. Topkara’s research centers on the convergence of reason and revelation and brings Islamic theology into discourse with modern philosophy. In his most recent book Miskawayh’s Tahdib al-ahlaq: Happiness, Justice, and Friendship (Routledge, 2022), Topkara illustrates how Miskawayh, the founder of Islamic Moral Philosophy, integrates and modifies Aristotle’s Ethics into Islamic thought. Previously, Topkara was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Humility and Conviction in Public Life Program of the University of Connecticut and a Residential Fellow with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Through his work at the Jewish Museum Berlin and various other engagements, Topkara has been promoting interreligious dialogue. He was a Humanity in Action Fellow in New York and worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Humanity in Action-Lantos Fellow in Washington, D.C. Topkara was educated at Humboldt University of Berlin and Harvard University, where he studied history and philosophy. He earned his Ph.D. at the Graduate School of Islamic Theology at the University of Paderborn (2017). 


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Asher D. Biemann is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he teaches modern Jewish thought and intellectual history. He is the author of a critical edition of Martin Buber's Sprachphilosophische Schriften (2003), The Martin Buber Reader (2001), as well as of Inventing New Beginnings: On the Idea of Renaissance in Modern Judaism (2009) and Dreaming of Michelangelo: Jewish Variations on a Modern Theme (2012), which appeared in German as Michelangelo und die jüdische Moderne (2016). Together with Richard I. Cohen and Sarah E. Wobick-Segev he edited Spiritual Homelands: The Cultural Experience of Exile, Place and Displacement Among Jews and Others (2020). He is currently completing a book entitled Enduring Modernity: Judaism Eternal & Ephemeral.