Past Events

April 22, 2024, 9–11am EST/3–5pm CET

Open Zoom Seminar

Online Seminar with Ahmed el Shamsy: “A Fourteenth-Century Muslim Theory of Religion”

Did premodern Muslims possess a concept of "religion"? In this presentation, Ahmed el Shamsy will examine how the fourteenth-century Damascene theologian Ibn Taymiyya uses the Arabic term dīn to theorize phenomena as diverse as the Abrahamic faiths, Zoroastrianism, peripatetic philosophy, and the belief system of the Mongols. The overall goal is to stimulate a conversation about how emic theories can contribute to the analysis of the historical phenomenon of religion.


March 18, 2024, 9–11am EST/2–4pm CET

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Karma ben-Johanan: “Overcoming Antisemitism and the Future of Western Religion”

Historians often differ on the question of whether antisemitism is a distinctly modern phenomenon or whether it is rather essentially a continuation of pre-modern prejudice, violence, and discriminatory acts against Jews. As recent studies show, the possible answers to this question bear implications not only for our understanding of Jewish history, but also for our visions of politics writ large.

In this talk I will explore the implications of this historiographic controversy for the question of religion in the secularizing West after World War II. By pointing at the fundamental differences between religious and non-religious understandings of antisemitism, as well as between different approaches to the question of Christian responsibility for the Holocaust, I will analyze the role of the struggle against antisemitism within the broader struggle over the place of religion, and of Christianity in particular, in the secular-liberal society.


January 22, 2024, 9–11 am EST / 3–5 pm CET

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Christine Hayes: “Can we laugh at God? Humor and Play in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


January 18, 2024, 11 am – 1 pm EST / 5 pm – 7 pm CET

Online Webinar

Interactive Webinar co-hosted w/ the Journal of Interreligious Studies (KEYNOTE: “Religious Co-Production and its Potentials for History and Theology”)

Co-hosted by the Journal of Interreligious Studies and Co-Produced Religions, this webinar will bring together experts from different areas of history, religion, and theology.

The keynote lecture, given by Katharina Heyden and David Nirenberg, will be followed by historical case studies of co-production from the ongoing research project.

Following these two portions, the webinar will turn to theological responses and reactions, breakout sessions, and a Q&A.

Panelists presenting historical case studies: Maureen Attali, Jillian Stinchchcomb, David Gyllenhaal, and Shlomo Zuckier.

Participants offering responses from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian theological perspectives: Rachel Slutsky, Adam Gregerman, Lailatul Fitriyah, Mohammed Gamal, Marianne Moyaert, and Klaus von Stosch.

To participate, please register via the link provided here. For more information, see the event website here.

Online – please register here

November 15–16, 2023


Workshop: Hypocrisy as a Co-produced Concept

IAS Princeton

October 16, 2023, 9–11 pm EST / 3–5 pm CEST

Online seminar

Online Seminar with Johannes Heil: “How Jews became Jeromes – The Literature of Pre-rabbinic Western Jews (300–600?) and its Christian adaption (700?–1300)”

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


September 18, 2023, 9–11 am EDT / 3–5 pm CEST

Online seminar

Online Seminar with Zvi Ben Dor Benite and David Nirenberg: “The Co-production of Kingship, Political Theology, and History in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism”

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


July 6, 2023, 2.15–3.45 pm

Conference session at Leeds International Medieval Congress

Leeds IMC Session: Religious Entanglements and Co-production: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Muslims, Jews and Christians have lived with and thought about each other since their entangled beginnings and throughout the centuries. This session examines the ways in which adherents of these three religious communities have interacted in real life and in thought, and how the religious traditions have taken shape at different places and times.


Katharina Heyden: Introduction into the Concept of Co-Production

Maureen Attali: Co-Production of Healing Pilgrimage Sites in the Eastern Mediterranean (5th–7th Centuries)

Rahel Schär: Religious Co-Production in the Legends of the 60 Martyrs of Gaza and the Martyrdom of Bishop Sophronius of Jerusalem

Paul Neuenkirchen: Struggle and Endurance in the Qur’an in the Context of Late Antique Piety

Sarah Islam: Examining Porous Boundaries Between Jewish and Muslim Litigants in Fāṭimid Courts: A Comparative Study of Jewish and Islamic Debt Acknowledgements (Iqrārs) in the Cairo Geniza

Final Discussion

University of Leeds (UK), Newlyn Building

June 26–28, 2023

International Conference

Conference: Moments of Religious Co-Production in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – Past and Present



4 pm Welcome Coffee and Registration

5 pm Opening session with live performance

Introduction Katharina Heyden and David Nirenberg

Historical narratives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in educational media. Case studies from past and present, David Käbisch

(Digital) Media as a space of Religious Co-Production, Anna Neumeier

Co-Produced Religions (Judaism-Christianity-Islam): Implications for Public Scholarship, Elisabeth Becker-Topkara

Live Performance, Nicolas Wolf

7.30 pm Dinner


8.30–10.15 am Morning lectures
Moderation: David Nirenberg

‘The Jews of this Nation’: The Co-production of Sectarian Identity in the Fatimid Caliphate, ca. 1120, Mohamad Ballan
‘My earth is wide’: the concept of migration in Judaism and Islam during the Muwahidi era, Miriam Frenkel

10.15 am Coffee break

10.45–12.30 am Parallel workshops

I Seminar room: Hondrich
Moderation: Yonatan Binyam

10.45–11.30 am: The Life of the Prophets: A Window into the Judeo-Christian Co-Production of Tomb Pilgrimage (1st-4th century), Maureen Attali

11.45–12.30 am: Reading the Alphabet of Ben Sira, Jillian Stinchcomb

II Seminar room: Einigen
Moderation: David Gyllenhaal

10.45–11.30 am: Counter-Narratives of Birth in the Gospels, Israel Yuval

11.45–12.30 am: Tales of Difficult Neighbourhood. Early Modern Jewish Counter Narratives, Susanne Talabardon

III Seminar room: Merligen
Moderation: Sarah Islam

10.45–12.30 am: Fiction or not, that is not the question: Conceptual, religious, and social insights through the unique dialogue Qui ceptum by the Jewish convert Peter, Uncastillo (Aragon), c. 1222, Matthias Tischler

12.30–13.45 pm Lunch

2–4.05 pm Parallel lectures

I Seminar room: Morgenberghorn
Moderation: Paul Neuenkirchen

2–2.35 pm: The Matter of the Resurrection. Co-produced questions and answers about the physics of life after death as a case study of Jewish-Christian-Islamic intellectual exchange, Barbara Roggema

2.45–3.20 pm: Jewish Printers and Christian Artists Designing a Book for Sefardi Exiles in Naples, 1492, Katrin Kogman-Appel

3.20–3.55 pm: Religion as a function of social circumstances? Co-production in Shlomo ibn Verga`s Shevet Yehuda, Wolfram Drews

II Seminar room: Einigen
Moderation: Sarah Islam

2–2.35 pm: The doctrine of alteration leading to the doctrine of sticking to the text: Muslim attitudes to the Qur'an in opposition to accusations against Jews of changing the Torah, Amir Dziri

2.45–3.20 pm: The mystical charge of the coffee preparation ritual in Ethiopia, between baraka and eucharist: layers of co-production between Sufi Islam and Orthodox Tewahedo Christianity, Eloi Ficquet

3.30–4.05 pm: A case study lecture on Co-Production in Christianity and Islam – past and present: The derivation of religious and social tolerance in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Prince Sorie Conteh

4.05 pm Coffee break

4.30 pm Afternoon lecture
Moderation: Katharina Heyden
Embrico of Mainz: Re-inventing Muhammat for the Christian Simony Controversy, Volker Leppin

6–7.30 pm Commented Concert: Three CulturesMuslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain
Spiez Castle Church
Welcoming address: Katharina Heyden
Moderation: David Nirenberg

Co-produced music from medieval Spain
Cesar Carazo: canto árabe, hebreo, latín, galaicoportugués y español y viola (fídula)
El Wafir Sheikheldin: canto árabe y laúd árabe
Jorge Rozemblum: canto hebreo y español sefardí, cítola (guitarra medieval) y pandero
Eduardo Paniagua: coro, salterio, flautas y dirección

7.30–9 pm Apéro Riche in the Castle Courtyard


8.30–10.15 am Morning lectures
Moderation: Katharina Heyden

Reading the Theology of the Other: Engaging with Herman Cohen’s “Religion of Reason: Out of the Sources of Judaism”, Ufuk Topkara

Conviviality in Motion: Moments of contemporary interreligious co-production in super-diverse communities, Andrea Bieler

10.15 am Coffee break

10.45–12.30 Parallel workshops

I Seminar room: Morgenberghorn
Moderation: Jillian Stinchcomb

10.45–11.30am: Cows and Co-Production: Surah al-Baqarah in relation to Exodus 32, Numbers 19 and Deuteronomy 21, Kate F. Tinson

11.45–12.30am: Porous Communal Boundaries and Coproduction between Muslims and Jews in Fatimid Egypt: an examination of the Jewish Iqrar Genre in the Cairo Geniza, Sarah Islam

II Seminar room: Einigen
Moderation: Maureen Attali

10.45–11.15 am: Arabic Manuscripts as Interactive Products: Some Case Studies, Arianna Dottone
11.15–11.45 am: Pre- and Post-reform Umayyad coinage as an example of late antique material co-production, Paul Neuenkirchen
11.45–12.15 am: Discussion

12.30–1.45 pm Lunch

2–4.05 pm Parallel lectures

I Seminar room: Morgenberghorn
Moderation: Paul Neuenkirchen

2–3.20 pm: In Search of a Sinful Pun: A Granular Analysis of Q. 2:58-59, David Gyllenhaal and Shlomo Zuckier (double lecture)

3.30–4.05 pm: Symbolic Kinship as Co-Productive of Race and Religion in Early Christian Literature, Yonatan Binyam

II Seminar room: Einigen
Moderation: Jillian Stinchcomb

2–2.35 pm: ‘Livre de Sidrac’ and the Co-Production of a Mediterranean Encyclopedia, Uri Shahar

2.45–3.20 pm: Lex Abrahae. The Co-Production of a Qur’an-Inspired Concept in Renaissance Christendom, Davide Scotto

3.30–4.05 pm: Co-Producing Blasphemy: The Satanic Verses, the Muhammad Cartoons and the Strange Case of Auto-Blasphemy, Thomas Hoffmann

III Seminar room: Hondrich
Moderation: Sarah Islam

2–2.35 pm: Pledging Water: Muslim Judges and Jewish Water Ownership in a Southern Moroccan Oasis, Aomar Boum

2.45–3.20 pm: Solidarity and Co-Productive Theologies in Jewish-Muslim Interfaith Work in the UK, Yulia Egorova

3.30–4.05 pm: A Christology, sensitive to Jewish and Muslim concerns, Reinhold Bernhardt

4.05 pm Coffee break

5–7 pm Closing session with live performance
Moderation: David Nirenberg and Katharina Heyden

Conference Reflections by CORE-Academic Collegium members, Christine Hayes, Michael Seewald, Yousef Casewit
Final discussion

Live Performance, Nicolas Wolf

7.30 pm Dinner


May 15, 2023, 9–11 am EDT / 3–5 pm CEST

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Jack Tannous: “Thinking with Simple Believers”

Tannous introduced the notion of the “simple believer” and suggested that a key to understanding late antique Christianity is to take into account that much of the Christian population of this period was agrarian and illiterate. For this reason, accounts of late antique Christianity which privilege sophisticated Christian doctrinal disagreements as the backdrop to the “rise of Islam” are misleading. Understanding the Middle East's Christian population to have been largely comprised of “simple believers”, Tannous also suggested, is essential for understanding early (and medieval) Christian-Muslim interactions. Understanding Christian and Muslim communities in this period as being made up of adherents with layered levels of religious knowledge and engagement can offer a more nuanced vision of what it meant to be a Christian or a Muslim for the vast majority of people and help us think around the elitist (and distorting) biases of our sources.


April 17, 2023, 9–11 am EDT / 3–5 pm CEST

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Carson Bay: From the Rubble: Flavius Josephus, the Fall of Jerusalem, & the Jewish-Christian Articulation of Jewishness in Early Medieval Europe

This lecture operates under the metaphorical analogy implied by its title. In 70 CE, Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed by the Romans under Titus, as recounted by the historian Flavius Josephus (c. 37–100 CE). As presented in Josephus’ Jewish War, the physical rubble of Jerusalem became conceptual rubble that, for Josephus’ later Christian readers, represented the effective end of the Jews in history. Yet, out of this rubble would emerge a new vision of Jewish identity, grounded – somewhat paradoxically – in the historical idea and narrativization of the ‘destruction of the Jews.’ Two marked points at which such identity construction took place were the late-4th and early-10th centuries. In the former, a Latin Christian writer used Jerusalem’s downfall to imagine a triumphal supersessionist vision of Jewish identity, one that placed essential Jewish identity into the perennial pluperfect tense, as it were; in the latter, a Jewish writer rescripted this story in Hebrew on the basis of this Latin Christian text, re-envisioning who the Jews are based on the same late-Second Temple story. This talk will attempt to conceptualize the dynamics of (inter)religious co-production at work in this legacy of historiography by comparing two versions of one key passage that appears in the Latin Christian work called On the Destruction of Jerusalem (or ‘Pseudo-Hegesippus’) and the Jewish Hebrew work called Sefer Yosippon.

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


March 20, 2023, 9–11 am EDT / 3–5 pm CET

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Gabriel Reynolds: “The Qur’an as Theological Engagement with Christianity”

Scholars have long discussed the Qur’an’s engagement with Jewish and Christian traditions. Most scholarly work on this question has centered on the relationship of narratives in the Qur’an with Biblical narratives or other para-Biblical and post-Biblical traditions. Recently a number of scholars have argued that the Qur’an does much more than repeat or restate these traditions. It actively reshapes Biblical characters and stories for the purpose of its own theological agenda. But how important, finally, is the engagement with Biblical tradition to the articulation of the Qur’anic message? In this talk, Reynolds will propose that Judaism and, in particular, Christianity is a conversation partner that thoroughly penetrates that message. In this conversation the Qur’an is fully attentive to its audience in its choice of words and turns of phrase. Reynolds will make this case in part by presenting evidence from the Qur’an itself where there is both explicit and implicit engagement with Christianity. He will also turn to recent analyses of paleo-Arabic inscriptions that suggest Christianity was an important presence throughout Arabia at the dawn of Islam.

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


February 20, 2023, 9–11 am EST / 3–5 pm CET

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Israel Yuval: “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”

Israel Yuval focuses on the Binding of Isaac in Genesis 22 and its later interpretations in Christian and Talmudic literature until its enigmatic appearance in the Qur'an, in which the identity of the bound son was obscured. He argues that the Qur’anic story reflects silenced counter-narratives on a biblical story, which created the religious identity of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


Monday, January 23, 2023, 9 am EST / 3 pm CET

Online Seminar

Online Seminar with Marina Rustow: “Scribes, Documentary Culture, and Jewish-Muslim Co-Production in the Abbasid and Fatimid Realms”

Zoom seminar with Marina Rustow: “Scribes, Documentary Culture, and Jewish-Muslim Co-Production in the Abbasid and Fatimid Realms” 23.01.2023

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


December 19, 2022, 9–11 am EST / 3–5 pm CET

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with John C. Reeves: “The Making of Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages: The Co-Production of a Scriptural Character and a Scholarly Resource”

This presentation will explore if and how the scriptural figure of Enoch and those of his non-biblical avatars might provide a fertile textual and cultural domain for observing the phenomenon of ‘co-production’.  Some attention will also be given to the making of Enoch from Antiquity to the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2018), itself a ‘co-produced’ work in progress.

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


November 21, 2022, 11 am – 1 pm EST / 5–7 pm CET

Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Michael Pregill: “The Past, Present, and Future of Qur’anic Studies: Jewish, Christian, Islamic Legacies”

The Western tradition of scholarly engagement with the Qur’an and Islam—the intellectual project formerly called Orientalism—is frequently contrasted with native Muslim perspectives on the Qur’an. Orientalism is commonly depicted as a strategy of domination—a reflex of political and economic imperialism, a discourse constructed to denigrate and demolish Islam. This characterization is certainly accurate for some aspects of the Orientalist tradition from the nineteenth century to the present day, but at least where the Qur’an is concerned, the dominant modern Western approach to the Qur’an established by Theodor Nöldeke, Abraham Geiger, and their contemporaries actually shares much in common with Muslim approaches. In this talk, I will argue that Geiger’s approach to qur’anic biblical material in particular reflects a striking synthesis of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic conceptions and concerns; these various elements not only converge in Geiger’s project, but continue to shape Western scholarship on the Qur’an up to the present day.

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


October 24, 2022, 9–11 am EST / 3–5 pm CET

Online zoom seminar

Online seminar with Rushain Abbasi and Orit Malka: “Bear witness, for I am with You Among Those Who Bear Witness” (Q.3:81): The Concept of “Witnessing” in the Quran and Its Biblical Subtext

In this project, Abbasi and Malka argue that the Quran engages deeply with the biblical covenantal subtext of “witnessing” in its frequent references to the act of shahada. By employing an inner-Quranic and intertextual analysis, they demonstrate that when the Quran uses variations of the root sh-h-d in a theological context this clearly indicates the taking of the oath through which one enters into a covenant with Allah. The Quran thus develops, in their view, a systematic vocabulary around this specific biblical theme and in so doing expands the mechanism of the covenant into an entire theological structure embedded at the very heart of its revelatory message.

Follow this link to watch the Zoom seminar:


October 6–7, 2022

In-person meeting

Opening Conference

The opening conference for the project Interactive Histories, Co-Produced Communities: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (CORE) was convened at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton on October 6th and 7th, 2022. Participants included the project’s Principal Investigators, Post-doctoral and members of the Academic Collegium from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. The conference was the first opportunity for this network of scholars to meet in-person. 

The conference began with a discussion of a pre-circulated conceptual paper by Katharina Heyden and David Nirenberg, intended to provide a shared foundation from which to explore the concept of co-production and of co-produced religions. Each Postdoctoral Scholar then presented their research project for the coming year, including the motivating questions, the corpus of relevant sources, and the intersection with the concept of co-production, with ample time reserved for feedback from members of the Academic Collegium. A concluding panel, entitled The Historical and the Constructive, allowed historians and theologians from the Academic Collegium to reflect on how research in the history of religion re-shapes religious tradition(s) themselves; and to explore the actual and potential relationships between the approaches of historians and those of theologians. The conference concluded with a shared commitment to engaging with and refining the concept of co-production and co-produced religions through our own research. 

Conference Schedule

October 6th

Opening discussion of pre-circulated conceptual paper

Sarah IslamExamining Porous Boundaries Between Jews and Muslims in Fāṭimid Egypt:  A Comparative Study of Jewish and Islamic Debt Acknowledgements (Iqrārs) in the Cairo Geniza Mohamad Ballan respondent

Paul Neuenkirchen, “Those Who Spend the Night Prostrating Themselves”: Some Preliminary Remarks on the Ascetic Background of the Qur’an | Fred Donner respondent

Yonatan BinyamInventing a Jewish Race: Apocalyptic Race-Thinking in Early Christianity Sofía Torallas Tovar respondent 

October 7th

Jillian StinchcombCo-Producing the Biblical Past through the Queen of Sheba Miriam Frenkel respondent

Shlomo ZuckierThe Production of “God-Willing”: One Expression, Two Millennia, Three Religions | Yousef Casewit respondent

Maureen AttaliKursi: a co-produced Jewish and Christian pilgrimage center from the Late Roman Empire until the Umayyad caliphate Israel Yuval respondent

David Gyllenhaal, ‘A Leftover Punishment': Syriac Christianity and the Birth of the Muslim Plague Martyr | Mercedes García-Arenal respondent

The Historical and the Constructive: Andrea Bieler, Volker Leppin, Michael Seewald, Ufuk Topkara

Closing Discussion

IAS, Princeton, USA


Open zoom seminar

Online Seminar with Dina el Omari: "The Concept of Impurity in Islamic, Christian and Jewish Theological Discourses"


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