Christopher Melchert


Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Pembroke College


Research Interests:

Islamic Movements and Institutions, Ninth-Tenth Centuries C.E.

Current Projects:

Sufism and other renunciant movements before the Junaydi synthesis; the life and works of Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Courses Taught:

'Hadith, Islamic law, and early Sufism'

Recent Publications:

‘Why non-Muslim subjects are to pay the jizya’. Pages 347-56 in Contacts and interaction. Proceedings of the 27th congress of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants Helsinki 2014. Edited by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, Petteri Koskikallio, and Ilkka Lindstedt. Orientalia Lovaniensia analecta 254. Leuven: Peeters, 2017.


‘Apocalypticism in Sunni hadith’. Pages 267-89 in Apocalypticism and escha­tol­ogy in Late Antiquity: encounters in the Abrahamic relig­ions, 6th-8th centuries. Edited by Hagit Amirav, Emmanouela Grypeou, and Guy Stroumsa. Late antique history and relig­ion 17. Leuven: Peeters, 2017.


‘Bukhārī’s kitāb tafsīr al‑Qur’ān’, Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association 1 (2016): 149-72.


‘The transmission of hadith: changes in the ninth and tenth centuries c.e.’ Pages 229-46 in Arabic and Islamic studies in Europe and beyond. Pro­ceedings of the 26th congress of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, Basel 2012. Edited by Maurus Rein­kowski and Monika Winet with Sevinç Yasar Gil. Orient­alia Lovaniensia analecta 248. Leuven: Peeters, 2016.


‘Basra and Kufa as the earliest centers of Islamic legal controversy’. Pages 173-94 in Islamic cultures, Islamic contexts: essays in honor of Pro­fessor Patricia Crone. Edited by Behnam Sadeghi, Asad Q. Ahmed, Adam Silverstein, and Robert G. Hoyland. Islamic history and civilization, studies and texts, 114. Leiden: Brill, 2015.


‘Ibn al‑Mubārak’s Kitāb al‑Jihād and early renunciant literature’. Pages 49-69 in Violence in Islamic thought from the Qur’ān to the Mongols. Edited by Robert Gleave and István Kristó-Nagy. Legitimate and illegitimate violence in Islamic thought 1. Edinburgh: University Press, 2015.


‘Three qur’anic terms (siyāḥa, ḥikma and ṣiddīq) of special interest to the early renunciants’. Pages 89-116 in The meaning of the word: lexico­graphy and qur’anic exegesis. Edited by S. R. Burge. London: Oxford University Press, 2015.


‘Before ṣūfiyyāt: Female Muslim Renunciants in the 8th and 9th Centuries CE’, Journal of Sufi Studies 5 (2015): 115-39.

Ḥadith, Piety and Law: Selected Studies. Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies 3. Atlanta: Lockwood Press, 2015.

‘Māwardī’s Legal Thinking’, Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā 23 (2015): 68-86, at (accessed 21 November 2015).

‘The Early Controversy Over Whether the Prophet Saw God’, Arabica 62 (2015): 459-76.

‘Muḥammad Nāṣir al‑Dīn al‑Albānī and Traditional Hadith Criticism’. Pages 33-51 in Reclaiming Islamic Tradition: Modern Interpretations of the Classical Heritage. Edited by Elisabeth Kendall and Ahmad Khan. Edinburgh: University Press, 2016.

‘The Spread of Ḥanafism to Khurasan and Transoxania’. Pages 13-30 in Medi­eval Central Asia and the Persianate World. Edited by A. C. S. Peacock & D. G. Tor. I. B. Tauris & BIPS Persian Studies Ser­ies 7. London: I. B. Tauris, 2015.

Photograph of Christopher Melchert