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Majid DaneshgarMajid Daneshgar is an alumnus of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), Germany, and was also a Marie Curie Fellow of the European Union, and the George Grey Scholar of the Auckland Libraries. Majid has taught courses on History of Religions, Religion and Science, Orientalism, Quran and Hadith, Islamic Studies, Islam Law, among others, at the universities of Freiburg, Germany, Otago, New Zealand, and Malaya, Malaysia. He was nominated for the Most Inclusive Teacher Award at the University of Otago in 2015. His recent monograph “Studying the Quran in the Muslim Academy” (Oxford University Press, 2020) was nominated for the Best Publication Prize of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, and his article “How Intellectuals Censor the Intellect: (Mis-)Representation of Traditional History and its Consequences” was awarded “Best Publication Prize 2022” by the Association of the Alumni and Friends of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. Majid has also examined around two hundred pre-modern and early modern Islamic and Oriental sources untapped in New Zealand, and compiled a census of Islamic manuscripts in different languages (Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Hindustani, Ottoman Turkish).


Current Project:

Revisiting Malay Islamic Manuscripts in the Cambridge University Library: Global Impact of the Erpenius Collection


Several Malay manuscripts that belonged to the famous Dutch Orientalist, Thomas Erpenius (d. 1624) are housed in the Cambridge University Library. This project aims to rediscover and re-examine these manuscripts, displaying to what extent they may contribute to our knowledge about the history of Islamic literature and manuscripts. Furthermore, I would propose how to promote their impact on a larger scale, engaging people beyond the Malay-Indonesian context (in Africa, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and East Asia) with the Erpenius collection in the Cambridge University Library. Furthermore, other Malay-Indonesian manuscripts at CUL (e.g., those of Wilkinson) will be examined in the light of Arabic, Arwi, Bengali, Persian, Punjabi, Turkish, and Urdu materials. Through my full examination of the Erpenius collection in the Cambridge University Library, I will be able to update the literature, former catalogues and digital database (e.g., CUL Online catalogue and Fihrist) thoroughly.


Recent Publications

  1. Monographs
  • Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press 2020). [Nominated for FRIAS Best Publication Prize]
  • Tantawi Jawhari and the Qur’an: Tafsir and Social Concerns in the Twentieth Century (London & New York: Routledge, 2018; reprint 2019).


  1. Edited Volumes
  • "On The Future of Islam and Science: Philosophical Grounds", Thematic Special Issue of the Zygon Journal of Religion and Science 55/4 (2020): 971-1057.
  • Deconstructing Islamic Studies (Massachusetts: ILEX, Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies & Harvard University Press, 2020). [Co-edited]
  • Islamic Studies Today: Essays in Honor of Andrew Rippin, (Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2017). [Co-edited]
  • The Qur’an in the Malay-Indonesian World: Context and Interpretation, (London & New York: Routledge, June 2016). [Co-edited]


  1. Refereed Journal Articles
  • “Inscribing Persian in the Arabic Cosmopolis: Case Study of Qur’ānic Exegesis from Khorasan,” Australian Journal of  Islamic Studies 7/1 (2022): 5–28 [Co-authored].
  • “A Very Old Malay Islamic Manuscript: Carbon Dating and Further Analysis of a Persian-Malay Anthology,” Indonesia and the Malay World 50/147 (2022): 161–172.
  • “The Prophet Shaving: Persians and the Origin of the Malay Hikayat Nabi Bercukur,” Der Islam 98/2 (2021): 394–424.
  • “An Egyptian Medical Officer and Qurʾān Commentator in Ottoman Syria: Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Iskandarānī and His Tafāsīr in the 19th Century,” Oriente Moderno 101/1 (2021): 44–69.
  • “Persianate Aspects of the Malay-Indonesian World: Some Rare Manuscripts in the Leiden University Library,” UC Irvine Dabir Journal of the Jordan Center for Persian Studies 8 (2021): 51–78.
  • “Indonesian Manuscripts in Iran,” Indonesia and the Malay World 49/143 (2021): 126–138.
  • “I Want to Become an Orientalist Not a Colonizer or a “De-Colonizer”,” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 33/2 (2020): 173–185.
  • “Uninterrupted Censored Darwin: From the Middle East to the Malay-Indonesian World,” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 55/4 (2020): 1041–1057.
  • “On the Future of Islam and Science,” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 55/4 (2020): 971–976.
  • “An Old Persian-Malay Anthology of Poems from Aceh,” UC Irvine Dabir Journal of the Jordan Center for Persian Studies 7 (2020): 61–90.
  • “The Images of the Shah and Khomeini in Indonesia and Malaysia: Honoured or Hated?” Asian Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies 14/2 (2020): 252–67.
  • “How Intellectuals Censor the Intellect: (mis-)Representation of Traditional History and its Consequences,” The Journal of Interrupted Studies 1/2 (2019): 69–89 [Awarded FRIAS Best Publication Prize 2022].
  • “On the Textual Origin of the Hikayat Muhammad Hanafiyyah: A Re-consideration,” Archipel 96 (2018): 69–102.

“The Divinatory Role of the Qur’an in the Malay World,” Indonesian and the Malay World 44/129 (2016), 123–44.

Munby Application details

The Fellowship is normally advertised each December for a post beginning in October the following year. Applications are currently being sought for the 2023-24 Munby Fellowship. The closing date is 22 January 2023.