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Daphna Ephrat , Full Professor

Contact Info

The Open University of Israel Department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies 1 University Road P.O.B. 808 Ra’anana 43107, Israel
Office:972-9-7781359 Email:daphnae@openu.ac.il

Additional Information

Areas of Research
Islamic and Near Eastern History:  religious associations and institutions; religion and the public sphere; spiritual leadership and saintly spheres in medieval Syria; Islamization and sacralization of the landscape in the age of the Crusades

Daphna Ephrat is an Associate Professor of Islamic History in the Department of History , Philosophy, and Judaic Studies at The Open University of Israel. Her research focuses on the Sufis, and examines the ways in which they expanded their spiritual path throughout the Islamic world and founded local communities of students and followers. Her research explores the sources of authority of the Sufi sheikh and its various manifestations. Since completing her doctoral studies in the Department of History and the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, she has authored the following books: A Learned Society in a Period of Transition (2000, published by New York University), Spiritual Wayfarers, Leaders in Piety: Sufis and the Dissemination of Islam in Medieval Palestine  (2008, published by Harvard University Press), and Sufi Masters and the Creation of Saintly Spheres in Medieval Syria ( 2021, published by Arc Humanities and the University of Amsterdam).

1978-1982
Tel Aviv University. Department of Middle Eastern History, BA
cum laude, 1982
1982-1986
Tel Aviv University, School of History, MA magna cum laude, 1986
1986-1992
Harvard University, The departments of Middle Eastern Studies and History, Ph.D. 1993
1997
Lecturer
2004
Senior Lecturer
2009
Associate Professor
1998-2001
Member, The Committee for Accreditation of Prior Studies, in charge of the Humanities
2001-2002
Member, The Committee of The OUI MA Program in Cultural Studies
2001-2003
Chair, The Academic Subcommittee of Humanities
2004
Member, The Committee for the Examination of Teaching the OUI Courses in the Arab Sector
2005-2010
Chair, The Academic Subcommittee of Humanities
2006
Editor, Self-Evaluation Report in History (The Council for Higher Learning)
2011-2014
Chair, The Committee for Approval of Study Programs
2014
Chair, Professional Committee for Promotion of Senior Faculty member
2014-2015
Member, Professional Committee for Promotion of Senior Faculty member
2015-2017
Director, The OUI International Academic Initiatives
2015-2108
Chair, The Library Committee
2015-present
Member, The Committee for the appointment of Teaching Staff
2011-2014
ISF Grant (app. No. 46/11), Principal Investigator: In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Spiritual Leadership in a Medieval Islamic Setting
1999-2000
Research Fund of the Open University of Israel
1995-1996
Grant fellowship for participation as a research fellow in the project on the transmission of learning and tradition; the Center for Judaic Studies of Pennsylvania University
2016-present
The Israeli Association for the Study of Religions
2012-present
The OUI Center for the Study of the Relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims
2000-present
Middle East Studies Association
2000-present
The Historical Society of Israel
2000-present
Middle East Medievalists
2011-present
Associate Editor, Journal of Sufi Studies (Brill)
2016-2017
Co-Executive Editor, The New Middle East/Hamizrah ha-Hahadash -  Journal for the Studies of the Middle East and Islam (Hebrew)

The Committee and Executive Board of The Israeli Association for the Study of Religions

MA Thesis:  Ottoman Egypt in the 18th century: as viewed by a contemporary Egyptian historian. Supervised by Prof. Ehud R. Toledano, Tel Aviv University, 1986 

Ph.D. Dissertation: The ‘ulama’ of 11th-century Baghdad and the transmission of Islamic learning. Supervised by Prof. Roy P. Mottahedeh and Prof. Nehemia Levtzion, Harvard University, 1993

Daphna Ephrat, Sufi Masters and the Creation of Saintly Spheres in Medieval Syria. ARC Humanities Press and Amsterdam University Press, forthcoming in 2021

Daphna Ephrat, Spiritual Wayfarers, Leaders in Piety: Sufis and the Dissemination of Islam in Medieval Palestine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008

 Daphna Ephrat, A Learned Society in a Period of Transition: The Sunni 'Ulama' of Eleventh-Century Baghdad. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000

Daphna Ephrat, Ethel Sara Wolper, and Paulo, G. Pinto, eds. Saintly Spheres and Islamic Landscapes: Emplacement of Spiritual Power across Time and Place. Leiden: Brill, 2020. xiii + 560 pages, index .

Daphna Ephrat and Meir Hatina, eds. Religious Knowledge, Authority, and Charisma: Islamic and Jewish Perspectives. Utah University Press, 2014, xiii + 327 pages, in

 Daphna Ephrat, Chaim Nissim and Hatim Mahamid. The Rise of Religion. 2nd edition (vol. 1 of the series Islam: Introduction to the History of the Religion). Raanana: The Open University of Israel, 2018

 Daphna Ephrat, Meir Ben Shahar, Jerusalem in the Ayyubid and Mamluk Periods. 2nd edition (vol. 7 of the series Jerusalem throughout the Ages). Raanana, The Open University of Israel, 2017

 Daphna Ephrat, Yoram Erder, Meir Ben Shahar, Jerusalem during the First Islamic Period (638-1099). 2nd edition (vol. 5 of the series Jerusalem throughout the Ages). Raanana: The Open University of Israel, 2016

Ora Limor, Israel Shatzman, Iizchak Hen, Daphna Ephrat, Iris Shagrir, The Beginnings of Europe: Western Europe in the Early Middle Ages. 4 vols. Tel Aviv: The Open University of Israel, 2001-2003.

 Nehemia Levtzion, Daphna Ephrat, Daniella Talmon-Heller, 
      Islam:  Introduction to the History of the Religion, 4 vols. Tel Aviv-Raanana: 2000-2008

 Daphna Ephrat,"The Shaykh, the Sacred Space, and the New Sacred Topography in Medieval Damascus and Aleppo." Historia: Journal of the Historical Society of Israel 36 (2016), 37-62 [in Hebrew]

Daphna Ephrat and Hatim Mahamid, "The Creation of Sufi Spheres in Medieval Damascus (mid-12th to mid-14th centuries)." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Cambridge UP) 25/2 (January 2015), 189–208.  (Acadimia.edu: 302 views/6 mentions)

Daphna Ephrat, "Control of the Path: The Marginalization and Exclusion of Undesirable Elements in the Earlier Middle Period." al-Qantara, XXXV (Jan. 2014), 255-76. Google Scholar: 4 mentions)

Daphna Ephrat, "The Shaykh, the Physical Setting, and the Holy Site: the diffusion of the Qadiri path in late medieval Palestine." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 19/1 (Cambridge UP) (Jan. 2009), 1-20. (academia.edu – 14 mentions]

 Daphna Ephrat, "From Wayfaring Elites to Local Associations: Sufis in Medieval Palestine." al-Qantara, 27 (Jan. 2006), 77-104

 Daphna Ephrat, "The Dissemination of Sufism and the Print of Islam in Medieval Palestine." Zemanim, 92 (2005), 8-16 [in Hebrew]

 Daphna Ephrat,"Muslim Reactions to the Frankish Presence in Bilād al-Shām." Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 15/1 (March 2003), 47-59

 Daphna Ephrat, "In Quest of an Ideal Type of Saint: Some Observations on the First generation of Awliyā' Allāh in Kitāb al-Tashawwuf." Studia Islamica 94 (2002), 67-85

Daphna Ephrat and Mustafa D. Kabha. "Intensified Religious Fidelity and Higher Barriers: Muslims and Franks in al-Shām." Catedra 92 (1999), 49-64 [in Hebrew]

 Daphna Ephrat, "Learning in the First Century of the Madrasah in Baghdad: A Reconsideration of the Social Significance of Institutionalization." Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review 3: 1-2 (1996), 77-103

Daphna Ephrat, Ethel Sara Wolper, and Paulo, G. Pinto, "Introduction: History and Anthropology of Sainthood and Space in Islamic Contexts." In Saintly Spheres and Islamic Landscapes: Emplacement of Spiritual Power across Time and Place, edited by Daphna Ephrat, Ethel Sara Wolper, and Paulo G. Pinto, pp. 1-34. Leiden: Brill, 2020

Daphna Ephrat, "The Evolution of Spheres of Spiritual Domination and Sanctity in Medieval Syrian Settings: Hagiographical Narratives and Historical Legacies. In Saintly Spheres & Islamic Landscapes: Emplacement of Spiritual Power across Time and Place, edited by Daphna Ephrat, Ethel Sara Wolper, and Paulo, G. Pinto, pp. 35-63. Leiden: Brill, 2020

Daphna Ephrat, "Conversion Tales in the Vita of Shaykh ʿAbdallāh al-Yūnīnī, 'The Lion of Syria' (Asad al-Shām)." In A Sourcebook on Premodern Conversion to Islam, edited by Luke Yarbrough Uriel Simonsohn, pp. 238-242. University of California Press, 2020

Daphna Ephrat and Paulo G. Pinto, "Sufi places and dwellings." In Sufi Institutions: A Handbook of Sufi Studies, chap. 5: 105-142, edited by Alexandre Papas, pp. 105-142. Leiden: Brill, 2020

Daphna Ephrat, "The Shaykh, the Followers, and the Public Sphere: The Case of the Khalwati Brotherhood in Israel." In Muslims in the State of Israel, edited by Meir Hatina and Muhammad al-Atawneh, 311-31. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2018 [Hebrew]

Daphna Ephrat and Meir Hatina, "Introduction." In Religious Knowledge, Authority, and Charisma: Islamic and Jewish Perspectives, edited by Daphna Ephrat and Meir Hatina, 1-23. Utah University Press, 2014

Daphna Ephrat, "Spiritual Heirs of the Prophet." In Religious Knowledge, Authority, and Charisma: Islamic and Jewish Perspectives, edited by Daphna Ephrat and Meir Hatina, 98-113. Utah University Press, 2014

Daphna Ephrat, "The Seljuks and the Public Sphere in the Period of Sunni Revivalism: The View from Baghdad." In The Seljuks: Politics, Power and Culture, edited by Christian Lang and Songul Mecit, 139-157. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011

Daphna Ephrat, "Sufism and Sanctity: The Genesis of the walī Allāh in Mamluk Jerusalem and Hebron." In Mamluks and Ottomans Studies in Honor of Michael Winter, edited by David Wasserstein and Ami Ayalon, 4-18. Frank Cass, 2006

Daphna Ephrat, "Madhhab and Madrasa in Fifth/Eleventh-Century Baghdad." In The Islamic School of Law: Evolution, Devolution, and Progress edited by Frank E. Vogel, Rudolph Peters and Peri Bearman. 77-93. Harvard University Press: Harvard Series in Islamic Law, 2005

Daphna Ephrat, "Religious Leadership and Associations in the Public Sphere of Seljuk Baghdad." In The Public Sphere in Muslim Societies, edited by M. Hoexterm S.N. Eisenstadt and N. Levtzion. 31-48. Albany: SUNY Press, 2002

Daphna Ephrat, "The Growth of the Geonic Yeshiva and the Islamic Madrasa." In Transmitting Jewish Traditions: Orality, Textuality and Cultural Diffusion, edited by Yaakov Elman and Israel Gershoni, 107-137. New Haven and London: Yale University Press Studies in Jewish Culture and Society, 2000

Daphna Ephrat, "The Advent of the Madrasa: A Real Turning-Point in the History of Islamic Education?"  In Education and History, edited by Rivka Feldhay and Immanuel Etkes, 101-23. Jerusalem: the Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 1999 [Hebrew]

The Encyclopedia of Islam, EI3 (3rd edition). Leiden, 2009-:
Al-Niẓāmiyya Madrasa " (forthcoming), (2000 words)
"Ibn Hubayra" (500 words)
"Al-ʿAbbādī" (500 words)
"Adud Dīn Muḥammad b. ‘Abdallāh" (150 words)

Oxford Encyclopedia of Legal History. Islam: B. Johansen (ed.) Oxford, 2010:
"Al-Kalwadhanī" (500 words).
"The Legal Profession" (1240 words)

Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia J. Meri (ed.) Routledge, 2006:
"Ibn al-Jawzī" (750 words), 2nd edition (2018)
"Al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī" (550 words)

Book Review of Stephennie Mulder, The Shrines of the ʿAlids in Medieval Syria," Edinburgh 2014, in Der Islam, 93/1 (2016). Academia.edu – 176 views

Book Review of Jawid, Mojaddedi, A. The Biographical Tradition in Sufism, London 2001, in Jama`a. The Department of Middle East Studies, Ben Gurion University of the Negev Press, 12 (2004), 275-81 [Hebrew]

Islamic and Near Eastern History
  Islamic religious associations and institutions; religion and the public sphere; spiritual leadership and saintly spheres in medieval Syria; Islamization and sacralization of the landscape in the age of the Crusades