Interactions of Muslim Intellectuals and Institutions with those of other Faiths in the Medieval Persianate World

A three-year programme funded by the British Institute of Persian Studies

Programme Director: Professor Alan Williams (University of Manchester)

at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

In the current difficult state of relations between Muslim and non-Muslim worlds there is no better time than now to reflect on the history of how Islam interacted with other cultural and religious traditions in the medieval past. The geographical epicentre is Iran, spreading out to the whole Persianate world of Persian influence, from Anatolia and Syria to the West, to the Indian Subcontinent to the East, and to Central Asia to the North. This is a collaborative programme to investigate the reality of interactions between Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian and other traditions in the period of the 7th-15th century CE. The enquiry has its focus on religious, philosophical, and literary themes in the Persianate world, but the evidence of material culture is also keenly relevant.

The first of three annual workshops (2016-2018) on the programme theme will be held on Wednesday 7 September 2016 at the British Academy. Scholars and students in the field,  including Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Zoroastrian and other specialist historians, are invited to submit abstracts (max. 400 words) of their prospective papers (max. 20 minutes + Q&A) to Professor Alan Williams ( by May 31st 2016.  Please refer to the Medieval Iran Research Programme page  for a fuller overview of the aims and research questions of the Programme.

It is intended that papers from the workshops will be turned into full-length research essays for a published volume.