Skip to main content

Jacob Lassner

Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Professor Emeritus of Jewish Civilization in the Department of History and the Department of Religious Studies

PhD, Yale; L.H.D. honorus causa, Hebrew Union Colege-Jewish Institute of Religion

Professor Lassner, former Director of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies, specializes in medieval Near Eastern History with an emphasis on urban history, political culture and historical writing, and the background to Jewish-Muslim relations. He has held appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study, the Rockefeller Institute (Bellagio), and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (Skirball Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations) and received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the American Council of Learned Societies-Social Science Research Council. In 2013, he was awarded the Franz Rosenthal Prize for a lifetime of achievement in Islamic studies and Semitics. He has held teaching posts at Wayne State University (Director of the Cone-Haddow Center or Judaic Studies and Distinguished Professor), the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Michigan, University of Toronto (Scheir Visiting Professor), Tel-Aviv University (Sackler Occasional Professor of Middle East History), and The George Washington University (John Smith Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies).  Among his publications are numerous articles and eleven books, the most recent being Jews, Christians and the Abode of Islam (2012).  

Jewish Studies Courses

  • History 300: Jews and Muslims in the Islamic Middle Age
  • History 374: Historical Background of Jewish-Muslim Relations 
  • History 392: The Six Days War
  • History 392: The Historical Roots of the Arab Spring
  • History 392: Historical Background of Arab-Israel Conflict
  • Religion 351: Muhammad, the Jews & the Origins of Islam
  • Religion 352: Biblical Themes in Muslim Tradition
  • Religion 371: Muhammad, Jews and Islam
  • Religion 379: The Bible and Islam