News ID: 115022
Publish Date : 13 May 2023 - 23:15

German Scholar of Iranian Studies Passes Away

TEHRNA -- Noted German-American writer and scholar of Islamic history and Iranian ‎studies Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung has passed away at the age of 92.‎
He had been granted the Farabi International Award by Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in 2013 for his significant contributions to Islamic and Iranian studies.
Born in Stuttgart on December 26, 1930, Madelung accompanied his parents to the U.S. where his father, Georg Hans Madelung, continued his career as an aeronautic engineer specializing in rockets after World War II.
Wilferd Madelung enrolled at Georgetown University in Washington DC before going to Cairo in 1951 to study Arabic literature and Islamic history. From 1958 to 1960, he served as cultural attaché at the West German Embassy in Baghdad, before starting his scientific career.
Madelung received his doctorate and habilitation at the University of Hamburg in Germany (lecturer for Islamic studies 1963–1966). His PhD thesis was titled “The Qarmatians and the Fatimids. Their mutual relations and their teachings on the Imamate.”
He was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin in 1963, and assistant professor (1964–65), associate professor (1966–68) and professor of Islamic History from 1969 until 1978 at the University of Chicago. He was the Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford from 1978 to 1998.
Madelung wrote academic journal articles and lectures about Ibadism. He was a member of the British Academy since 1999 and a senior research fellow at the Institute for Ismaili Studies in London.