Dr. Yasin Meral, assistant professor of History of Religions on the Divinity faculty at Turkey’s Ankara University, joins The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) this fall as its first Muslim visiting scholar. Dr. Meral will conduct his postdoctoral research using the resources of The JTS Library with support from members of the faculty.
“I welcome Dr. Yasin Meral to JTS. While we have had Jewish and Christian scholars visiting here in the past, this year it is more important than ever that we continue to build our relations with the worldwide Muslim community,” says Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies. “Dr. Meral comes to us from Ankara, Turkey, but has studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he was a research fellow, and as my student when I taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (he earned an MA in Christianity). He will be a valuable resource at JTS and to the American Jewish community this year.”
An accomplished Maimonides scholar and a veteran of interreligious dialogue, Dr. Meral completed his PhD dissertation on Islam and Muslims in the Writings of Maimonides at Ankara University. His postdoctoral work, a project entitled “End of Days in Jewish and Islamic Studies (A Comparative Study),” explores eschatological and apocalyptic issues in Jewish-Muslim traditions.
“It is a privilege for me to conduct my research at JTS,” says Dr. Meral. “Its rich library and distinguished scholars in every field of Judaism make it the best institution in the United States for Jewish studies.”
Dr. Meral joins a long list of distinguished visiting scholars at JTS, including such recent notables as Israel-based theater director Yossi Yzraely, international auteur filmmaker Dr. Amos Gitai, Israeli author and journalist Yossi Klein Halevi, and author Tom Cahill.