American Philosophical Society
Member History

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4. Humanities[X]
1Name:  Dr. Moshe Sharon
 Institution:  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1937
Moshe Sharon, M.A., PhD was born in Haifa Israel on December 18, 1937 and received his higher education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the SOAS University of London. He is a professor (Emeritus) of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, and Chair in Bahá’í Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in which he initiated the scholarly independent study of the Bahá’í Faith (in a non Bahá’í context, and within the wider study of modern religions and religious movements). Asked in 1984 to develop Jewish Studies at the University of the Witwaterstrand Johannesburg, South Africa, he established the Chair and Centre of Jewish Studies there and headed and directed it until 1993. Since 1968 Professor Sharon has been documenting and studying in depth the Arabic Inscriptions of the Holy Land and publishing them in multi-volume opus: Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae (CIAP, six books) concurrent with his many scholarly publications on Islamic history and civilization. Among these are Black Banners from the East in 2 volumes, by now classic on the earliest revolutionary movement in Islam; Judaism Christianity and Islam, Interaction and Conflict; Judaism in the Context of Diverse Civilizations; Studies in Modern Religions and Religious Movements (ed.); The Bahá’í Religion and its Most Holy Book and many more. Professor Sharon is one of foremost authorities on early ‘Abbasid history, History of the Holy Land under Islam, and a world expert on Arabic Epigraphy. In the field of public activity he served as Prime Minister Begin Advisor on Arab Affairs (1978-1980) and participated in the initial stages of the Israeli-Egyptian peace process. Later he was the Head of the Department of Arab Affairs in the IDF Central Command, advisor to the Minister of Defense, and special envoy to the Shi‘ites in Lebanon. More than a year ago he was appointed by a unanimous decision of the Government of Israel as Chairman of the Place-Name Committee responsible for the official fixing of all place names on the map of the country.
2Name:  Dr. Nicholas Sims-Williams
 Institution:  University of London
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1949
Nicholas Sims-Williams is Research Professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, whose faculty he joined in 1976. Nicholas Sims-Williams is an Iranologist, a philologist and linguist who has brought the little-known world of Iranian Central Asia to vivid life by his studies of religious texts, especially concerning Manichaeism and Buddhism, and everyday documents in a host of languages, above all Sogdian and Bactrian. The latter was practically lost to memory when Sims-Williams deciphered a trove of ancient legal documents and letters found in Afghanistan and identified their language as Bactrian, reconstructing its grammar and vocabulary and recovering six hundred years of a lost culture - "the most exciting discovery in Iranian Studies in the last two decades," as it was called in the introduction to his 2009 Festschrift. He was awarded the Prix Ghirshman of the Institut de France and the Hirayama Prize from the Institute of Silk Road Studies. Sims-Williams is the author of The Christian Sogdian Manuscript C2, 1985; Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan, Vol. I: Legal and Economic Documents, 2001; Recent Discoveries in the Bactrian Language and Their Historical Significance, 2004; (with F. de Blois) Dictionary of Manichaean Texts, Vol. II, Texts from Iraq and Iran, 2006; Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan, Vol. 2: Letters and Buddhist Texts, 2007. He is a member of the British Academy and the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Institut de France. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2014.
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