Ezra Tzfadya, M.A.


Ezra Tzfadya is a lecturer and research associate at the University of Bamberg's Oriental Studies Institute, Chair for Jewish Studies. He is writing his doctoral dissertation in Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg under the supervision of Prof. George Tamer titled "The Theocratic Idea and Modernity in Judaism and Shiite Islam: Sovereign Guardianship, Autonomy and the Law."

Through Bamberg's Center for Inter-religious Studies  (ZIS), Ezra has conceived and will be convening a major international conference this April together with Florida International University in Miami titled  "The Shia-Jewish Encounter: Texts, Contexts and Contemporary Implications." He was also responsible for the conception and management of the summer 2018 Bavarian Orient Colloquium with the theme " Jews, Judaism and Near Eastern Context." Ezra is a recipient of a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) doctoral fellowship, as well as a Fulbright. Ezra holds an M.A. from Princeton University in Religion, and a B.A. in Arabic and German from Dartmouth College. He is a North Miami Beach, Florida native.

Academic Employment

  • Otto-Friedrich Universität, Bamberg. Institute of Oriental Studies
  • Lecturer and Research Assistent (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter)
  • Chair for Jewish Studies (Supervisor: Prof. Susanne Talabardon)
  • M.A. program in Middle Eastern Cultural Studies (Excellence Initiative)


July 2015-Present

Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-NürnbergPh.D. Candidate, Islamic Studies (ABD)

DAAD (German Academic Exchange) Doctoral Fellow (2015-17)Dissertation Title: “The Theocratic Idea and Modernity in Judaism and Shiite-Islam. Sovereign Guardianship, Autonomy, and The Law.”Advisor: Professor George Tamer. Chair for Islamic Studies. (Main Advisor)

September 2009- October 2013

Princeton University

M.A. Religion (3 years of doctoral coursework completed)

 July 2007- May 2008

Fulbright Fellowship

Freie Universität zu Berlin: Islamic Studies

September 2003- August 2007

Dartmouth CollegeB.A. Cum Laude, High Honors, James O. Freedman Presidential ScholarMajors: German Studies, Arabic Language & LiteratureMinor: Jewish Studies


  • English  (Native)
  • German (Near-Native)
  • Hebrew (High Advanced)
  • Arabic   (High Advanced)
  • Persian (High Advanced)
  • French  (High Intermediate, Advanced Academic Reading)
  • Aramaic (Advanced Reading-Talmud)
  • Turkish (Low Intermediate)


Double Blind Peer-Reviewed Publications


“Retrieving the Foundations and Future of Islamic Modernism: Fazlur Rahman and Mohammed Shabestari on Hermeneutics, Prophetic Epistemology, and the Modern Islamic State”  in Philosophical Hermeneutics in the Islamicate Context. Callmieri, S. Varmick, S. eds. Berlin: Springer Press. In Preparation.  2019. (Contributors include Professors Constance Haschem Arminjon, Alireza Shomali, Urs Goesken, Carool Keersten & Mohammed el-Bizri)


“The Concept of Faith in Jewish Philosophy: Belief before Law, or Law before Belief” in Key Concepts in Interreligious Discourses: Faith. Tamer, G. ed. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter. Forthcoming 2019.  (Contributors include Professors Ovamir Amjum Walter Spam & Susanne Talabardon)


Modern Shiite and Jewish Existence Philosophy in Dialogue(306.9 KB): The Problem of Autonomy” (forthcoming) in Tradition and Innovation- Avicenna and Mulla Sadra in Dialogue. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter. Forthcoming 2019.  (Contributors include Professors Mohsen Kadivar, Mohammed Shebastari, Hassan Hanafi, Mohammed Legenhausen, & Mohammed Rustom).


“Rethinking Leo Strauss’ Critique of Modernity and Platonic-Theocratic Corrective in Light of Rav Kook and Khomeini .” in Philosophy and Law: Jewish and Islamic Thought between the Poles of Theocracy and Theology. Boston/Berlin: De Gruyter, Forthcoming 2019.(Contributors include Karl-Erich Groezinger, Wilferd Madelung, John McCormick, Hans Daiber, Peter Adamson, Bettina Koch & Clemens Kauffmann).


Living the Truth of a Free Europe(139.1 KB): Community, Philosophy, and Responsibility in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig and Walter Benjamin.” in The Rosenzweig Jahrbuch 3: The Idea of Europe.“ ed. Braser, M. Freiburg/München: Alber, 2008


Edited Publication

 Tzfadya, Ezra. ed. Jews, Judaism and Near-East Context:  Intercultural Productivity, Political Tensions and the Presence of Absence. Ergon Press. (In Preparation)


Academic Book Translation

 Tamer, George. Islamic Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Leo Strauss’s Interpretation of Alfarabi, Avicenna und Averroes. An updated English Translation of Islamische Philosophie und die Krise der Moderne: Das Verhältnis von Leo Strauss zu Alfarabi..  Avicenna und Averroes. Trns. Tzfadya, E  New York: SUNY. Forthcoming 2019.

Focus on Teaching and Research

  • Jewish and Islamic Political Thought
  • Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion
  • Political Theology
  • Middle East Politics and Constitutionalism