Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Sustainability

Jonathan Brockopp

Jonathan Brockopp

Professor of History and Religious Studies
• Philosophy
Jonathan Brockopp

Research Description

My primary research focus is on the literary remains of early Islamic cultures, including the Qur'an, hadith, and legal and theological texts. I am particularly interested in the rise of a professional scholarly community in Egypt and North Africa, using early Arabic manuscripts to trace arguments and lines of influence. Recently, I have focused on the question of how these early scholars constructed their notion of religious authority in my book, Muhammad's Heirs: The Rise of Muslim Scholarly Communities (Cambridge, 2017). This work has led me to formulate a new theory of charismatic authority, one that attempts to account for the dynamic roles of text, community, and history in constructing the charismatic leader.