Goldziher Prize 2014
The 2014 Goldziher Prize has been awarded to Prof. Dr. Josef “Yousef” Waleed Meri for his scholarship and teaching in Jewish-Muslim Relations. Meri is Visiting Professor, Department of Studies of Islam in the Contemporary World, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
Prof. Meri was most recently the Allianz Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany. He has taught at the Institute of Isma’ili Studies, London, and at the University of Cambridge, England. Meri was a Special Scholar in Residence and remains a lifetime Fellow of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan, where he worked on and was an original signatory to “A Common Word,” an interfaith document of strategic importance.
At Cambridge he was a Research Fellow of St. Edmund’s College and Academic Director in Muslim-Jewish Relations at the Woolf Institute, where he organized academic conferences broaching questions of Jewish and Muslim identities and interactions. As Senior Tutor, Dr. Meri ran the American University/Woolf Institute innovative e-learning course, “Bridging the Great Divide: The Jewish-Muslim Encounter.”
He crossed the often impenetrable boundaries between Jew and Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian, by the exercise of good sense, scholarly commitment, and toleration for widely differing views. His work invites all parties to move beyond prejudice or partisan favor in sensitive situations toward mutual respect and understanding. His personal integrity, scholarly insight, and inexhaustible good will are signs of hope for a world so often torn by political and religious strife.
Two finalists for the Goldziher Prize are Dr. Ingrid Mattson, London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada; and Dr. Edward Kessler MBE, Founder and Executive Director of the Woolf Institute and Fellow of St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge.
The Goldziher Prize will be presented to Dr. Meri at an award dinner on November 5th, 2014 at Merrimack College.
The Goldziher Prize is a $25,000.00 cash award made possible by the generosity of The William and Mary Greve Foundation for work that contributes significantly to reverence, understanding and collaboration in common moral purposes between Jews and Muslims.
Those eligible for the award include scholars, artists and activists.
Named for the great 19th century Jewish Islamicist, Ignac Goldziher, the 2010 award was presented to Prof. Mark R. Cohen of Princeton University, and the 2012 award to Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky of the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Click here to read the entire March 5, 2014 announcement.
Ignac Goldziher “came to be recognized as Europe’s greatest scholar of Islam…(Susannah Heschel),” and “one of the profoundest and most original scholars in Europe…(Journal of the American Oriental Society).”