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Database and Handbook of Classical Islamic Education

Research Project at the University of Goettingen

Financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Culture, Federal State of Lower Saxony


The Goettingen Database and Handbook of Classical Islamic Education is a research endeavor initiated and directed by Professor Dr. Sebastian Guenther, Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Goettingen, Germany.

The main objective is to comprehensively record and analytically study the developments, paradigms, and specifics of educational thought in the classical periods of Islam (9th–15th century). To meet this ambitious task, the project investigates a large spectrum of medieval Arabic primary texts from different literary genres. This is the first systematic and comprehensive study in a European language devoted to the historical developments, main representatives and specifics of the classical Islamic theories of education.

In the first step, the project identifies, records, and assesses core statements and key concepts of classical Islamic educational theories in a specially designed database. In the second step, the results of this investigation are being made available to the interested public in a Handbook of Classical Islamic Education. This publication will provide unique first-hand access to core statements on concepts and practices of teaching, learning, curriculum, educational ethics, and other pedagogical and didactic issues in medieval Islam, as contained in important primary texts on Arabic-Islamic intellectual history.