Muhammad and the Origin of Islam – Stereotypes, Knowledge and Notions in the Byzantine-Russian Culture
Muhammad and the Origin of Islam – Stereotypes, Knowledge and Notions in the Byzantine-Russian Culture

Research Project by Zofia A. Brzozowska, University of Lodz (PI)


Research project, financed by the National Science Centre (Poland), realized by an interdisciplinary team of scholars from the University of Lodz (Faculty of Philology, Ceraneum Centre, Faculty of Philosophy and History: Zofia A. Brzozowska, Paweł Filipczak, Mirosław J. Leszka, Teresa Wolińska). 

The aim of the project is to carry a comprehensive study, on a particular historical example, on the mechanism of ideas formation (based on the actual knowledge and stereotypes) on the Arabs, religion (Islam) professed by them since the 7th century, and the circumstances of its birth and its founder (Muhammad). The team analyzes the ideas of Byzantine authors, as well as Old Russian authors, creatively using the sources created by the former ones. The comparison of the two traditions (the Byzantine and Old Church Slavonic) will help trace the process of the formation of stereotypes and the mechanism of their circulation within Byzantine-Slavic culture. The oldest texts on Islam were created in Rus’ in the 12th century and the most complete and most diverse come from the 14th–16th century. It allows tracing the circumstances and reasons for emerging ethnic and religious stereotypes and the process of their transfer, beginning in the early Middle Ages up to the 16th century. The team will make an analysis of the phenomena accompanying the transfer of stereotypes in time and geographical space (i.e. between the inhabitants of the territories of different cultures and languages), with respect to the changes they undergo with time.

The implementation of this project will bring tangible results:

- a scientific monograph, which will be the first comprehensive elaboration of the issue: Zofia A. Brzozowska, Mirosław J. Leszka, Teresa Wolińska, Muhammad and the Origin of Islam in the Byzantine-Slavic Literary Context: A Bibliographical History [to be published].

- partial results of the research will be presented at conferences and in scientific articles intended for publication in recognized international scientific journals.