Professor of Islamic, Jewish and Comparative Studies

Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies

S-307 Callaway Center

537 Kilgo Circle

Atlanta, Georgia 30322


404-727-2717 (voice & voicemail)






   Brandeis University 1964-1966 Ph.D. Mediterranean Studies

   Brandeis University 1962-1964 M.A. Mediterranean Studies

   University of Utah 1959-1962 B.A. Philosophy (cum laude)





   Emory University:

Š             Professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, 1992 to date.

Š             Department Chair, 1992 to 2001, 2004 to 2011.

Š             Director, Graduate Program in West and South Asian Studies, 1996 to 2004.

Š             Executive Director, Institute for Comparative and International Studies, 2001 to 2004.


   North Carolina State University:

Š             Professor of History, 1989 to 1992;

Š             Professor and Associate member of Department of Philosophy and Religion, 1989 to 1992.

Š             Associate Professor of History, 1976-1989

Š             Assistant Department Head, 1980-82.


   Harvard University: Research Affiliate, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1974-76.

   Brandeis University: Assistant Professor of Mediterranean Studies, 1967-76.

   Washington State University: Assistant Professor of History, 1966-67.





Š      Executive Director, Institute for Comparative and International Studies, Emory U., 2001 to 2004.

Š      Director, Title VI National Resource Center: Middle East, Emory U., 2000 to 2003.




Š      U.S. Dept. of Education Title VI NRC, 2000 – 2003, Director and P.I.

Š      U.S. Dept. of Education Title VI Language Center grant, 2002-2004, co-P.I.

Š      Fulbright Fellowship (Malaysia) 1995.

Š      Georgia Humanities Council for public conference: FORCES OF CHANGE, $15,000.00, 1995.

Š      Phillips Research Fellow in Jewish Studies, St. John's University, 1991-2.

Š      North Carolina State University Summer Teacher Institute for Jewish History, Culture, and Religion, G. Newby, Director, funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, 1992-3, Director and P.I.


Š      National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, 1986. Project Title: A HISTORY OF THE JEWS OF ARABIA.

Š      A.C.L.S. Study Fellowship 1976-1977 (declined).

Š      National Defense Fellow (Arabic) 1962-66.

Š      National Defense Undergraduate Scholarship (Arabic) 1960-62.

Š      University Regents Scholarship (University of Utah) 1959-60.







Š      Founding Editor and member of Editorial Board, Medieval Encounters, published by E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1994 to 2004.


Š      Middle East Content Editor, Pearson/Prentice Hall Social Science textbooks, 2006 to date.


Š      Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Comparative Islamic Studies, London: Equinox, 2005 to date.




Š      “Is Joe Lieberman a Bad Jew?” Religion Dispatches, December, 2009

Š      “House Health Care Bill Discriminates Against Religious Freedom,” Religion Dispatches, November 2009.

Š      Newby, G., Patton, L., Robbins, V., “Comparative Sacred Texts and Interactive Reading: Another Alternative to “World Religions Class,” Journal of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, 2009.

Š      The Silence of Religious Voices in the Health Care Debates,” Religion Dispatches, September, 2009.

Š       “Is Nothing Secular?: A Review Article of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina,” Religion Dispatches, Fall, 2008.

Š      “Language, Script and Religion,” The Atlas of World’s Religions, F. Denny, ed., N.Y.: Macmillan, 2007, pp. 40-41.

Š      Folded Time: A Socio-Rhetorical Analysis of Quranic and Early Islamic Apocalyptic Discourse,” D. B. Gowler et al. eds. Fabrics of Discourse : essays in honor of Vernon K. Robbins. Harrisburgh, Trinity International, 2003.

Š      “Muslim-Jewish Polemics,” Encyclopedia of Religion, New York: Macmillan, 2004.

Š      “The Ka’bah,” Encyclopedia of Religion, New York: Macmillan, 2004.

Š      "The Use of Electronic Media in the Study of Sacred Texts," New Approaches to the Study of Religion, Religion and Reason Series, Peter Antes, Armin, W. Geertz & Randi Warne, eds., Berlin: Verlag de Gruyter, 2004.

Š      "Re-thinking the End of Time: Apocalypticism in Pirke Rabbi Eliezer and the Biography of Muhammad" CCAR Journal, 2002.

Š      "Ark," "Baal," "Deferral," "Forgery," Generations," Encyclopaedia of the Quran, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2002.

Š      "Quranic Texture: A Review of Vernon Robbins' The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse and Exploring the Texture of Texts." Journal for the Study of the New Testament 70 (1998), pp. 93-100.

Š      "The Foundation of the University of Naples: Typological Parallels with Arab Institutions of Higher Learning," Medieval Encounters, 3,2, 1997, pp. 173-184.

Š      "Imitating Muhammad in two Genres: Mimesis and Problems of Genre in SĒrah and Sunnah, Medieval Encounters, 3,3, 1997, pp. 266-283.

Š      "Muslim/Non-Muslim Relations: Lessons From the Past for a Better Future," Development: Islamic, Malaysian and American Perspectives, Aidit Haji Ghazali and M. Zain, Karim, eds., Kuala Lumpur: Institut Perkembangan Minda, 1996, pp. 47 - 76.

Š      "Muslims, Jews and Christians: Relations and Interactions," The Muslim Almanac, Azim A. Nanji, ed., New York: Gale Research, Inc., 1996, pp. 423 - 430.

Š      3 articles for Oxford University Press's Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World 1995.

Š      "Laptop Power for History on the Road," jointly with Richard W. Slatta, History Microcomputer Review, 7:2 (1991), pp. 25-34.

Š      7 articles for Harper's Dictionary of Religion, 1995.

Š      "Quranic and Islamic Interpretations of Biblical Materials," Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1995.

Š      "The Drowned Son: Midrash and Midrash Making in the Quran and Tafsir," Stephen David Ricks, Studies in Islamic and Judaic Traditions: Papers Presented at the Institute for Islamic-Judaic Studies, Center for Judaic Studies, U. of Denver, Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1986.

Š      "The Sirah as a Source for early Arabian Jewish History," J.S.A.I. 7 (1986) pp. 121-138.

Š      "Ibn Khaldun and Frederick Jackson Turner: Islam and the Frontier Experience," in Ibn Khaldun and Islamic Ideology, B. Lawrence, ed., vol. XL, International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology, K. Ishwaran, ed., Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1984, pp. 122-133; also in Journal of Asian and African Studies, XVIII, 3-4, pp. 274-285.

Š      "Two Castrated Bulls: A Study in the Haggadah of Ka'b al-Ahbar, jointly with David Halperin, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 102, no. 4, 1982.

Š      “Tafsir Isra’iliyyat.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, thematic issue S (1980), pp. 685-97.

Š      “Trade in the Levant and East Mediterranean in the Early Islamic Period,” Archaeological News, viii 2/3, 1979.

Š      “Abraha and Sennacherib: A Talmudic Parallel to the TafsĒr on Surat al-FĒl,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1974.

Š      “Surat al-Ikhlas: A Reconsideration,” Orient and Occident, 1973.

Š      “The Dependent Pronoun in Semitic and Egyptian,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 1972.


Š      “Observations about an Early Judaeo-Arabic.” Jewish Quarterly Review 61 (1971) pp. 214-21.




Š      Muruwwah and DĒn Revisited: Late Ancient Legacies of Maleness in Islamic Foundational Texts,” American Academy of Religion annual convention, 2011.

Š      “Methodological Issues in Comparing the Bible and Qur’an,” American Academy of Religion annual convention, 2011.

Š      “History and Religion of Islam,” 20 hours of classes for Lay Academy, First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA. 2008

Š      “Matters of Faith: Islam,” EBRU TV, 2 hour interview on Turkey’s English Language television on the topic of Islam.

Š      “Historical Background to the Gaza Conflict,” Middle East Historical Series invited lecture, Glenn Memorial UMC, 2009.

Š      “Religion and the Ancient Near Eastern City,” Annual Meeting of the American Society for the Study of Religion, Newark, 2004.

Š      “Negotiating Abraham’s Heritage: The Rise of Islam in Syria,” Keynote address, Syria and the Rise of Civilization, Fernbank Museum, Atlanta, 2002.

Š      “ The Study of Judaism and Islam in American Universities: Theories & Practices,” Annual Meeting of the Jewish Studies Association, Western Branch (by invitation), 1999.

Š      "Apocalypse and Apocalyptic in early Islam and late Rabbinic Judaism," Annual Meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies, Chicago, 1999.

Š      Chair & Commentator, "Panel on Narrating the Prophet’s Legacy," Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Boston, 1999.

Š      "The Study of Judaism and Islam in American Universities: Theories & Practice," Annual Meeting, Jewish Studies Association, Western Branch, March 1999 (by invitation).

Š      "The Socio-Rhetorical Texture of the Quran," Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 1997.

Š      "The Drowned Son: The Noah Stories in Judaism and Islam," Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, 1997.

Š      “Jews and Muslims in the 8th Century Middle East,” University of Gronigen, Netherlands (invited), 1997.

Š      Organizer & Chair, "Islam in Southeast Asia," panel at Annual Meeting of American Academy of Religion, 1997.

Š      "Prophets, Messiahs and Community: Jewish-Muslim Conflicts over Texts and Territory in the 8th Century," Lecture to the Medieval Studies Committee, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, October, 1994.

Š      "Arab Contributions to the Foundation of the University of Naples: A Typological Study," Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, Knoxville, TN, April, 1994.

Š      “Judaism and Islam: Past Events and Future Prospects,” (invited) Mid-Atlantic meeting of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, “ 1993.

Š      "Text and Territory: Jewish-Muslim Relations 632-750," Bridging the Worlds of Islam, An International Conference in honor of William Brinner, Berkeley, 1993.

Š      "Diverging Fortunes: Jewish-Muslim Associations and Dissociations," Siena College, N.Y. Jewish-Muslim-Christian Dialogue 1492-1992, October, 1992.

Š      "Gender and Mimesis in Islam: Imitating Muhammad in Two Genres,: Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Kansas City, 1991.

Š      "The Islamic Context of Pirke Rabbi Eliezer," Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Berkeley, 1991.

Š      "A Light From His Mother's Womb: Myth and Legitimacy in Birth Stories of Muhammad," Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Atlanta, 1990.



     American Academy of Religion: 

Member History of Islam Steering Committee, 1988 to 1995, 2002-2007.

Co-Chair, Qur'an Group, 2007 to date.

Member of History of Judaism Steering Committee 1988-91.


     American Society for the Study of Religion

Treasurer, 1998 to date.

     American Oriental Society

Chair, Islamic Studies Section 1989 to 1993

     Middle East Studies Association


SERVICE (Selection – see also administrative appointments)


Š      Member, Provost’s Advisory Committee on Difficult Conversations, 2007-2011

Š      Evening at Emory (Quest Courses) 2008

Š      Courses and Lectures on Islam at Atlanta churches & synagogues

Š      Scholar in Residence and Keynote Speaker, Siena College, NY, 1993.

Š      Scholar in Residence, St. John’s University, Dec. 1991 – Feb. 1992

Š      Freshman Academic and Mentoring Advisor/ PACE, Emory U., 1993 to 2011

Š      Member, Carlos Museum Director Search, 2002

Š      Outside Reviewer, Department of Religion, Kenyon College 2002

Š      Member, Emory College Dean Search Committee 2003

Š      Outside Reviewer, Department of Religion, Cornell University, 2003

Š      Member, Graduate Division of Religion Admissions Committee, 2001-2003

Š      Chair, MESAS Promotion Committee 1993 to 2011.

Š      Chair, Emory College Humanities Council 2005 to 2008, 2010-2011.

Š      Member, Emory College Governance Committee 2005 to 2008; Chair, 2007 to 2008.


COURSES (Selection)




Arabic Poetry and Poetics

Beginning and Intermediate Classical Arabic for Research

Biographies of Muhammad

Classical Arabic Culture

Early Arabic Culture

History and Sources of the Crusades through Arabic Texts

History of the Islamic Expansion

Introduction to Islamic Civilization to 1798

Introduction to Judeo-Arabic

Islam in the Modern World

Islamic Institutions

Muhammad as Person and Paradigm

The Arabian Nights

The Mediterranean in the Middle Ages

The Modern Near East

The Quran and its Commentaries




Problems in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Islam (A joint NCSU-UNC course)

Jews in Islamic Lands




Judaism (A Survey)

Seminar: From Temple to Ghetto - Judaism in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages




Introduction to Sacred Texts

Shaping Sacred Lives: Myth and History in the Biographical Process




A Literary History of the Mediterranean

Biblical Texts pertaining to the Monarchy

Greece and the Orient

Rome and the West

The Ancient World to 180 A.D.

The Mediterranean in Antiquity





The Crusades

The Middle Ages

Europe 1500 to 1815

Europe 1815 to the Present