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Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates - Interactive Histories- Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Institute for Advanced Study and University of Bern
New Jersey, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Jan 7, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Humanities, History, Religion
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Call for Applications

Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates to participate in the research project

Interactive Histories, Co-Produced Communities:

Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ, USA) and University of Bern (BE, CH)

The project “Interactive Histories, Co-Produced Communities: Judaism, Christianity and Islam” seeks to appoint Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates for a period of two years, to join a collaborative community of scholars pursuing rigorous historical research while also committed to exploring ways to address their findings to a broader public.

This is an opportunity for promising early career researchers specializing in the histories of Jews/Judaism, Christians/Christianity, and/or Muslims/Islam to contribute their own research to a large-scale exploration of the long span of history of inter-relation between these three faith traditions.

Successful applicants will join a joint research project directed by Katharina Heyden (University of Bern) and David Nirenberg (Institute for Advanced Study Princeton), in collaboration with an extensive international network of scholars.  Appointment will be for up to two years (from autumn 2022 through summer 2024) with renewal contingent on satisfactory progress in the first year.  Scholars will be appointed either as Early/Advanced Postdoctoral Fellows at the University of Bern (at 80-100% effort as defined by Swiss labor law) or as Research Associates at the Institute for Advanced Study, but will function as one team, collaborating closely and meeting regularly both remotely and in person. 

Postdoctoral Fellows (Bern)/Research Associates (Princeton) will be expected to contribute to the general project and to make progress on their own research.  They will have no teaching responsibilities.


During the period of employment, Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates will be expected to

  • Carry out research on instances of the co-production of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and present their research findings.
  • Participate in and assist with organizing the Project’s team meetings, workshops, conferences, and events.
  • Collaborate in the project’s media initiatives.
  • Contribute to the project’s research archive.


  • Applicants must have graduated with their PhD in a relevant field (History, Religion, Art History, Interreligious Studies, Theology, etc.), and be no more than ten years from the awarding of their degree.
  • An appropriate number of publications depending on the candidate’s experience
  • A general interest in the historical relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims as manifest in the candidate’s track record
  • Strong reading skills in the primary and secondary languages relevant to the candidate’s proposed area of focus.
  • Proficiency with the English language is necessary to perform the functions of these positions.

Project description:

The project studies the ways in which Judaism, Christianity and Islam have taken shape at different places and times over their roughly two-thousand-year history of thinking with and about one another, and how the myriad interpretations and retellings of that conjoined history can help us both to understand relations between these communities in the past and present, and also to consider future potentials. An additional goal of the project is to translate the fruits of this research into multiple media accessible to diverse audiences.

All research interests that seek to explore some aspect of the interface and coproduction of these three religions will receive favorable consideration. Researchers may, for example, explore (a) how different potential modes of interaction come to characterize relations between these three religions at a given place and time, (b) what each religion teaches about conflict and coexistence with the others, and if/how these teachings may have influenced each other, (c) to what extent teachings, rituals or any other feature of each of the three religions might be understood as results of co-productive processes, and (d) how past co-productions are put to theological work in the present, and what normative potentials such work may produce.

Terms of the award:

The initial appointment term is for one year, renewable for a second year contingent on satisfactory performance.  Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates will be expected to be in full-time residence at their appointing institution for the duration of their appointment.  Compensation will vary depending on the appointing institution, but will be competitive with equivalent positions and commensurate with experience. 

Application instructions:

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  1. A cover letter.
  2. A curriculum vitae.
  3. A description of your intended research plans, including a particular instance of co-production you are especially interested in researching (no more than 5 pages double spaced).
  4. A dissertation abstract (250 words).
  5. A writing sample (no more than 25 pages double-spaced).
  6. The names and contact information of three recommenders.
  7. An official transcript.

All applicants will be considered for appointment at both host institutions.  Candidates who wish to be considered for only one of the host institutions should indicate this in their cover letter.  All application materials should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to Unsolicited additional materials will not be considered.

The deadline for submission of application materials is March 31, 2022, however late applications may be considered if the positions have not been filled.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

The Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Bern are equal opportunity institutions encouraging a diverse pool of applicants.  We believe in the inherent value of diversity and equal opportunity, recognizing that a diverse workforce will bring a wider array of perspectives to our scholarly communities.   All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are communities of intellectual inquiry resolutely committed to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Please note that proof of COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 booster is required to work on the Institute for Advanced Study campus.  

Individuals are eligible to request an accommodation based on a medical exemption or profession of sincerely-held religious beliefs.

The University of Bern requires an EU Digital COVID certificate for all activities that take place on campus.


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