Foto del docente

Caterina Bori

Associate Professor

Department of History and Cultures

Academic discipline: L-OR/10 History of Islamic Countries


Keywords: Siyasa-Shar'iyya Theology from below Mamluk period Qur'an Historiography Origins of Islam Social History of the Islamic Middle Period Reception of Neo-Hanbali Scholars (xiv-xvi)

My work focuses mainly on the religious and social history of the Mamluk period. Lately, I have been devoting myself to the reception of Ibn Taymiyya's and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya's doctrines in the late Mamluk and early Ottoman times with particular attention to how the concept of siyasah shar’iyyah was understood, used and transformed during the 14th to 16th centuries in Maliki and Hanafi texts.

The book edited with Livnat Holtzman, A Scholar in the Shadow. Essays in the Legal and Theological Thought of Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya (2010), represented the starting point of this research line. An even earlier step was the study of Ibn Taymiyya’s circles of scholars (“Ibn Taymiyya wa-jamaatuhu. Authority, Conflict and Consensus in Ibn Taymiyya's circle”, OUP, 2010). A forthcoming special issue of The Muslim World to be published in early 2018 is also part of this research cluster.

As a result of my early study on the construction of Ibn Taymiyya’s images in his biographical tradition (Ibn Taymiyya: una vita esemplare. Analisi delle fonti classiche della sua biografia, 2003; “The Collection and Edition of Ibn Taymiyya's works: Concerns of Disciple”, 2009; “A new source for the biography of Ibn Taymiyya”, 2004) I took an take an interest in the social and religious meanings of biographical writings in their different formats in the Islamic Middle Period.

I explored the idea of “theology from below”, the potentials of intersecting the study of social and intellectual history and exploring the social uses of theology in: "Theology, Politics and Society: the Missing Link. Studying Religion in the Mamluk Period" (2013) and in: "Religious Knowledge between Scholarly Conservatism and Commoners' Agency" (Blackwell-Wiley, forthcoming). In the future I would like to go back to this idea.

I am also interested in the controversial historiographical debates on the origins of Islam, with particular attention to the field of Qur'anic studies ("Un caos senza speranza? Studiare il Corano oggi", 2014; the first italian edition of Alfred -Louis de Prémare, Alle origini del Corano, Roma, Roma, 2014; All We Know is What We Have Been Told”, 2012 ).