Prof. Christine Schirrmacher, PhD is a well-known international scholar of Islamic Studies, currently teaching as Professor of Islamic Studies at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the department of Islamic Studies and Near Eastern Languages of the State University of Bonn, Germany and the Evangelical-Theological Faculty (ETF) (Protestant University) at Leuven, Belgium. In 2013 she was temporarily teaching at the chair of Islamic Studies at the university of Erfurt, Germany, and in 2014, as a guest professor at the university of Tuebingen, Germany.
She studied Islamic Studies, comparative religions, history and German literature and holds an M. A. and a PhD in Islamic Studies. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with the Muslim-Christian controversy in the 19th and 20th century, her thesis for her postdoctoral lecture qualification (“Habilitation”) focused on contemporary Muslim theological voices on apostasy, human rights and religious freedom.
She regularly lectures on Islam and security issues at different government institutions of security policy in Germany. She also teaches at the Academy of Foreign Affairs of the Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany and is a consultant to different advisory bodies of society and politics, e.g. to the Human Rights Committee of the “Bundestag”, Berlin, Germany, i. e. the German federal parliament.
She is director of the International Institute of Islamic Studies (IIIS) of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and its regional counterpart, the “Institut für Islamfragen” (Institute of Islamic Studies) of the German, Swiss and Austrian Evangelical Alliance, as well as “Commissioner for Islamic Affairs” for WEA.
She is member of the “Gesprächskreis Nachrichtendienste, Berlin” (Intelligence Discussion group), of the International Society for Human Rights, of the “Deutsch-Jordanische Gesellschaft” (German-Jordanian Society) and curatorium member of the “Evangelische Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen” (Protestant Centre for World View Questions), an academic documentation and advisory centre of the Protestant Church of Germany.
She has visited many Muslim majority countries of the Near and Middle East, and has been speaker at national as well as international conferences dealing with Islam, held by non-religious, Christian and Muslim organisations.
She is engaged in current dialogue initiatives, like the conference “Loving God and Neighbour in Word and Deed: Implications for Muslims and Christians” of the Yale Centre for Faith and Culture, Yale University, New Haven, 2008 or the “Berlin Forum for Progressive Muslims” of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2011/2013.
She has widely published on the subjects of Islamic theology as well as comparisons between Islamic and Christian theology, on political Islam and islamism, on Islam and democracy, on women in Islamic societies, on sharia law, on human rights in Islam and on integration and radicalization of Muslims in Europe. Besides many scholarly articles, she published about 15 books in German, translated into English, Spanish, Kiswahili, Romanian and Korean.
Her two volume introduction “Der Islam – Geschichte, Lehre, Unterschiede zum Christentum” (1994/2003) (Islam – History, Dogmatics, Differences to Christianity) is widely used at seminaries and in educational programs. Among her recent publications are “Frauen und die Scharia – Die Menschenrechte im Islam” (2004/2006) (Women and Sharia Law - Human Rights in Islam), “Der Islam – eine Einführung” (2005) (Islam – A Short Introduction), “Die Scharia – Recht und Gesetz im Islam” (2008) (The Sharia – Law and Order in Islam), “Islamismus – Wenn Glaube zur Politik wird” (2010) (Islamism – When Faith turns out to be Politics), and “Islam und Demokratie – ein Gegensatz?” (2013) (Islam and Democracy – an Antagonism?)