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Christopher Melchert
American academic

Christopher Melchert

Christopher Melchert
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American academic
Is Arabist Islamic studies scholar Academic
From United Kingdom United States of America
Field Education Religion Social science
Gender male
University of California, Santa Cruz
The American University in Cairo
University of California, Berkeley
Princeton University
University of Pennsylvania
The details (from wikipedia)


Christopher Melchert is an American professor and scholar of Islam, specialising in Islamic movements and institutions, especially in the ninth and tenth centuries C.E. A prolific author, he is University Lecturer in Arabic and Islam at the University of Oxford's Oriental Institute, and is a Fellow in Arabic at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Melchert received a Ph.D. in History (1992) from the University of Pennsylvania. His thesis was later published as a book, titled The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law, with Brill Publishers, Leiden. Melchert more recently published a book on Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Sunni jurist.

Having written about whether women can be prayer leaders according to the early Sunni and Shii jurists, he is one of the few expert historians who has written authoritatively on the question.

Selected publications


  • The Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law, 9th-10th Centuries C.E. (Studies in Islamic law and society, v. 4). Leiden: Brill, 1997.
    • Reviewed by W. B. Hallaq in International Journal of Middle East Studies 31, no. 2, (1999): 278-280
    • Reviewed by P. Sanders in American Journal of Legal History 43, Part 1 (1999): 98
  • Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Oxford: Oneworld, 2006 and 2012. (in 116 World Cat libraries)


  • The formation of the Sunni schools of law, ninth–tenth centuries CE. 1992 Ph.D thesis, University of Pennsylvania
  • Religious Policies of the Caliphs from al-Mutawakkil to al-Muqtadir, AH 232-295/AD 847-908, in Islamic Law and Society, 1996 - Brill
  • The transition from asceticism to mysticism at the middle of the ninth century CE, in Studia Islamica, 1996 - JSTOR
  • The adversaries of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in Arabica, 1997 - Springer
  • Islamic law, in Oklahoma City University Law Review, 1998 - HeinOnline
  • How Hanafism Came to Originate in Kufa and Traditionalism in Medina, in Islamic Law and Society, 1999 - Brill
  • Ibn Mujāhid and the establishment of seven Qur'anic readings, in Studia Islamica, 2000 - JSTOR
  • Traditionist-jurisprudents and the Framing of Islamic Law, in Islamic Law and Society, 2001 - Brill
  • The Ḥanābila and the Early Sufis, in Arabica, 2001 - JSTOR
  • Sufis and competing movements in Nishapur, in Iran, 2001 - JSTOR
  • Various additional papers.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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