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PD Dr. Manfred Sing

Affiliated scholar


Personal Details:

Born in 1966 in Aulendorf, Baden-Württemberg; 1994-2000: studied Islamic Studies, Sociology and History at University of Freiburg and the University of Damascus; 2005: doctoral dissertation in Islamic Studies at the University of Freiburg; 2005-2007: lecturer at the University of Freiburg; 2007-2008: postdoctoral project "Die Neuorientierung arabischer Post-Kommunisten im Nahen Osten nach 1989" at the University of Freiburg, funded by the German Research Foundation; 2009-2012: research associate at the Oriental Institute in Beirut. October 2020 to March 2023 Professorship in Islamic Studies and History of Islam at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
Sing has been working at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) since February 2013.


Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient
Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (DMG)

Research Interests:

Transformations of Muslim Societies since Modern Times
History of ideas, ideologies and concepts in Arab countries
Marxism in the Arab World
Multireligious spaces
Islam in Europe

Selected Publications:

Arab Feminism and Islamic History: The Transnational Life and Work of Lebanese-Syrian Writer Widad Sakakini (1913–1991), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2022. PDF
Arabische Sozialismen. Von antikolonialem Widerstand zu autoritärer Politik, von is­la­mi­scher Selbstvergewisserung zu postkolonialem Protest. Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte Oktoberheft 70, 4 (2022): 779–792. DOI
The Politics of Religious Outrage: The Satanic Verses and the Ayatollah’s Licence to Kill, in: David Nash und Eveline Bouwers (Hg.): Demystifying the Sacred: Blasphemy and Violence from the French Revolution to Today, Berlin: De Gruyter 2022, 247–276. DOI
Against All Odds: How to Re-Inscribe Islam into European History, in: European History Yearbook 18 (2017), S. 129–161.
Dis/Connecting Islam and Terror: The “Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi” and the Pitfalls of Condemning ISIS on Islamic Grounds, in: Journal of Religious and Political Practice 2, 3 (2016): S. 296–318.

Research projects:

Debates on Citizenship and Secularism in Semi-Colonial Egypt

The project examines the emergence of modern Egypt using the example of public debates on democracy, secularism and citizenship. The research project is part of the IEG sub-project "Self-Determination under Occupation? The Formation of Modern Egypt (1879-1956)" of the joint project "The Historicity of Democracy in the Arab and Muslim World" (HISDEMAB) funded by the Leibniz Association.

Secularization in Egypt between Border Crossing and Border Drawing

The research project of Manfred Sing investigated the ways in which Arab intellectuals and religious scholars have adopted European concepts of religion in order to reject external stereotypes and, at the same time, to articulate the need for religious, social, and political reform.

Self-Determination under Occupation? Formation of the Modern Egypt, 1879–1956

Egypt, as an internationally intertwined part of the British Empire, the Arab world, the Islamic reform movement and the (post-)Ottoman space, was a meeting point of mobile actors as well as globally circulating concepts in the early 20th century. The sub-project based at the IEG investigates how global concepts of health and nationalisation policies were translated into local contexts.