Jeremy Pearson, PhD student in the Department of History, is a specialist in medieval Christian-Muslim relations in the Mediterranean, generally, with expertise in both medieval Latin and Arabic as well as other Semitic languages. He has been awarded two prestigious fellowships that will allow him to spend the coming academic year carrying out research in Israel and the Middle East:
- An Educational and Cultural Affairs Junior Research Fellowship at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem.
- A Fulbright Fellowship at the Center for the Study of Conversion at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, Israel.
During his time in Jerusalem and Beersheba, Pearson will be undertaking research for his dissertation, entitled William of Tripoli and his Eastern Context: Reconsidering Muslim-Jewish-Christian Relations in the Crusader States. William of Tripoli, a thirteenth-century Dominican Friar living in the Crusader States, wrote a pair of remarkable and unusual treatises about Islam that have puzzled historians. They are charitable in their assessment of Islam and say startlingly admiring things about the Qur’an. Pearson will be exploring the ways in which this view of Christianity’s great rival arises out of the Arab-Christian and Jewish culture of the medieval Middle East where this Dominican priest lived, and will require relating William’s Latin works to earlier Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew works on Islam.