Wolfhart Heinrichs brings expertise in Arabic studies

Area studies to Islamic studies 1978

Wolfhart Heinrichs Brings Expertise in Arabic Studies

Professor Heinrichs was born in Cologne, Germany in 1941 and studied Semitic Languages, Arabic, and Islamic studies at Cologne, Frankfurt, London, and Giessen. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1978 and held the James Richard Jewett Chair of Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Among his many accomplishments was working with Fuat Sezgin in Frankfurt to produce the first Geschichte des arabischen Schriftums (1967) and serving as co-editor of the major second edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam, for which he wrote fifty entries. His publications also include The Hand of the Northwind: Opinions on Metaphor and the Early Meaning of Istiʾāra in Arabic Poetics (1977), Studies in Neo-Aramaic (1990), The Law Applied: Contextualizing the Islamic Shari’a (2008), and Die Muqaddima: Betrachtungen zur Weltgeschichte (2013). His untimely death in 2014 after a brief hospitalization only months before his planned retirement was mourned by the generation of Islamicists and Arabists that he trained and colleagues around the world.

Wolfhart Heinrichs
Wolfhart Heinrichs (1941-2014)