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Elphinstone Scholarships

A number of Elphinstone PhD Scholarships are available across the arts, humanities and social sciences, linked to specific, individual research projects. These Scholarships cover the entirety of tuition fees for a PhD student of any nationality commencing full-time study in October 2015, for the three-year duration of their studies.

Islam and Ambivalence

Project 1: Muslims and non-Muslims: The “other” as a source of cultural and religious knowledge/ threat The purpose of this project is to identify, discuss and analyse in Islamic literary, historical and/ or religious sources depictions of and references to various forms of relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. The project will ideally focus on a specific context of such relations, and examine the form of discourse it involves, and the extent to which the “other” are depicted as a source of cultural and religious knowledge on the one hand, and a threat on the other. Such contexts might include societies where Muslims are/ were Muslims, such as Muslim Spain, as well as cases in which Muslims live as a minority, e.g. China. Another possible direction could be minorities and majorities within Islam (e.g., between Sunna and Shi’a).

Project 2: Islamic portrayal of pre-Islamic prophets This project aim at examining the portrayal of one (or more) prophetic figure within the Muslim sources, the construction of their character(s) within the Islamic context, possible motivations for these constructions, manners of settling the internal tensions within their character(s), etc. The research will involve a detailed textual study of medieval Islamic sources and their analysis, available through libraries around the U.K.

Project 3: Northern Europe in Medieval Arabic Sources The proposed project will analyse Arabic texts dealing with the North and contextualise them in their literary tradition. It will provide biographies of the Arabic authors and contexts for their texts, and evaluate their information in terms of trustworthiness in order to extract information about the Vikings and Nordic countries from the eighth to the 13th centuries. Whenever possible the information contained in the Arabic sources will be compared to western Latin sources to produce a composite picture of the events and polities in the period.

How Do I Apply?

To apply for an Elphinstone PhD Scholarship, you should apply for a PhD via our online system, in the Programme Details Section:

For further details please contact Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche


Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche

Lecturer in Islam

Coordinator, MLitt Islamic Studies

University of Aberdeen

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3UB Scotland, United Kingdom