Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Prior to Germany’s emergence as an imperial power in 1884, scholarly knowledge of the Orient was only deemed useful to a handful of academics, largely in part because oriental scholarship’s primary emphasis was the study of classical languages and ancient manuscripts. German colonialism, on the other hand, required the creation of a new body of oriental knowledge, one that was firmly rooted in the contemporary world instead of antiquity. In 1907, Carl Heinrich Becker published Christianity and Islam, one of the first pieces of scholarship to examine the modern Orient with a modern methodology. In particular, it was Becker’s adoption of the sociology of religion, a concept pioneered by Max Weber and Émile Durkheim, which allowed him to interpret the modern Orient in a way not previously possible under the philological tradition that defined oriental studies for previous generations of scholars.
Herman, James, "Carl Heinrich Becker and the Making of the Modern Orient." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2014.