Dr István Kristó-Nagy
Telephone: 01392 724087
Lecturer in Arab & Islamic Studies
Born in Budapest, Hungary, István Kristó-Nagy has earned two MAs; one in History and another in Arabic Studies from the Pázmány Péter Catholic University (Hungary) in 2000. He was awarded a PhD in Arabic Studies from the Université de Toulouse 2, Le Mirail and Eötvös Lóránd University Summa cum Laude in 2006. An updated and revised version of his dissertation is being published under the title of La Pensée d’ Ibn al-Muqaffac by the Editions de Paris, collection Studia Arabica in 2013.
István has won scholarships at the Universitá degli Studi di Napoli “l’Orientale”, the Pontificio Instituto di Studi Arabi e Islamici, the Institut Catholique de Toulouse, the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris and Princeton University. He has also received scholarships in different Arab countries such as Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.
István’s academic studies have been supplemented by the opportunity to work as a cultural guide in more than twenty countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America. He is fluent in English, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, and also reads Latin.
After the completion of his doctoral studies, István received a Sultan Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley and a Mellon Career Development Fellowship in Classical Arabic at the University of Oxford. He taught as a visiting professor at the University of Richmond, Virginia, in the fall of 2009. He declined a Mellon Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in order to come to Exeter.
István’s expertise lies in the formative and “classical” period of Islamic history, the evolution of the Arabic adab, Islamicate political thought and wisdom literature. He is also interested in comparative and interdisciplinary studies in the cultural history of Islam as compared and linked to other civilisations.
In the Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence in Islamic Thought project, István’s was focused on the State and the Individual. He investigates the interlinked questions of the legitimacy of the state’s violence against the individual and of the legitimacy of the individuals’ violence against the state. He is engaged in a detailed study of the first miḥna in Islam, that is, the persecution of the zanādiqa (Manicheans and other suspicious dualists) during the reign of two cAbbāsid caliphs, al-Mahdī and al-Hādī. This persecution is one of the most striking and less investigated examples of a violent campaign against a non-violent religious community within the Dār al-Islām.