Zvi Ben-Dor

Professor of Arab Crossroads, Arts and Humanities

Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi


Zvi Ben-Dor Benite is Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He teaches courses on Asian history during and after the Mongol period and on Judaism and Islam. Zvi Ben-Dor Benite was born in Jerusalem to a family that emigrated from Iraq. Growing up not only in a bilingual setting – speaking Arabic and Hebrew – but also in a binational city defined his relationship both to words and to languages. He studied Chinese in Jerusalem, in China, and later at UCLA where he completed his Ph.D. in early modern Chinese history. Ben-Dor Benite has received several awards and honors and is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Berggruen Institute. Ben-Dor Benite’s research centers on the interaction between religions in world history and cultural exchanges across vast space and deep time. He is the author of The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China (Harvard, 2005); The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History (Oxford, 2009); and co-editor of Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought: Writings on Identity, Culture, and Politics (Brandeis, 2013); and an edited volume on Sovereignty (forthcoming with Columbia University Press). He is currently working on a number of projects related to Jews, Jesuits, Chinese, and Muslims. Ben-Dor Benite enjoys writing short fiction in Hebrew and pieces for the wider public on Confucian philosophy and on the Bible’s prophets and scribes.

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