Dr. Maria-Magdalena Pruß

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

Telefon: +49-(0)30-80307-238
Regionaler Schwerpunkt: Südasien, besonders Indien und Pakistan
Dr. Maria-Magdalena Pruß
Dr. Maria-Magdalena Pruß


Since 01/2020
Research Fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient


2012 - 2019
Princeton University, USA: Ph.D in Religion (Subfield: Islam); Dissertation: “Islamic Modernism in Colonial Punjab: The Anjuman-i Himayat-i Islam, 1884-1923”, Advisors: Muhammad Qasim Zaman (Princeton University, Dept. of Religion), Gyan Prakash (Princeton University, Dept. of History), Farina Mir (University of Michigan, Dept. of History)
2011 - 2012
University of Oxford, UK: M.St. (Master of Studies) in Global and Imperial History (Subfield: South Asia), Advisor: Faisal Devji
2008 - 2010
Freie Universität Berlin: B.A. (continued) in Islamic Studies
2006 - 2008
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena: B.A. in Islamic and Religious Studies



2020: Co-editor of special section “Religious Minorities in Pakistan”, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 43:1.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

2020: With Simon Wolfgang Fuchs, “Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Identities, Citizenship and Social Belonging”, Introduction for a special section of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 43:1, 52-67.

2016: “The Public Sphere in South Asia: A Review Essay”, Suedasien-Chronik.

2016: “Walking a Tightrope: The Jesuit Robert Bütler and Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Pakistan”, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.

Book Reviews

2017: Ian Talbot/Tahir Kamran, “Colonial Lahore: A History of the City and Beyond”, Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies.

2015: Margrit Pernau, “Ashraf into Middle Classes”, South Asian History and Culture.

Invited Talks

Reed College, Portland, OR: “Who is a Modern Muslim? Voluntary Associations and the Construction of Islamic Identities in Colonial North India”
Seattle University, Seattle, WA, Evening Talk: “Traversing Holy Places: Conversion and Religious Identity in Late Colonial Punjab”; Lunch Talk: “The State of Muslim-Christian Relations in Pakistan“
Jesuit Research Centre Loyola Hall, Lahore (Pakistan): “An Intellectual Encounter: The Jesuit Robert Butler and Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Pakistan”
Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst, Berlin, Germany: “Islamic Reform in the Modern Age”
University of the Punjab, Lahore (Pakistan): “Representing Islam in Public: Muslim Voluntary Associations and the Origins of Civil Society in Pakistan”

Other Talks and Panels

Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Washington, DC: “Act in the Living Present: Muslim Voluntary Associations in Colonial Punjab and the Quest for a 'Modern' Islam”
DAVO-Congress, Frankfurt/Main, Germany: Co-organizer of the panel “The Emergence of Islamic Studies in the Muslim World”
Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI: “Redefining the Qaum: Religious Reform and Education in the Work of Muslim Voluntary Associations”
German Islamic Studies Conference (DOT), Jena, Germany: “Educating the Modern(ist) Muslim: Islamia Colleges and Schools in Colonial Punjab”
Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI: “Between Mosque, School and Printing House: Muslim Associations in Colonial Punjab”
European Conference on South Asian Studies, Zürich, Switzerland: “Muslim Converts to Christianity and the Creation of a Middle-Class Identity in Colonial Punjab”

Consulting Work

Since 2018
Co-founder and co-director of the “Kompetenznetz Islam und Gesellschaft”, Think tank and consulting agency for government institutions, journalists, educators and civil society actors in Germany
Training Seminar: Pakistan – Limits of the Rule of Law, Government law enforcement officers, Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, Außenstelle Freiburg i.B.
Training Seminar: Pakistan – History, Political and Legal System; Government law enforcement officers, Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, Außenstelle Freiburg i.B.

Honors, Fellowships and Grants

Winner of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) South Asia Graduate Paper Prize for the best research paper in South Asian Studies
Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), Princeton University; Research grant, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
Travel scholarship, Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft; Travel grant, American Institute for Pakistan Studies; Travel grant, Whiting Foundation
Language Acquisition Grant, PIIRS
J. D. Rockefeller, Jr. Merit Fellowship, Princeton University
Study scholarship, Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst

Academic Organizations

  • Member of the American Institute for Pakistan Studies
  • Member of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft
  • Member of the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Vorderer Orient

Travels and Field Trips

  • Pakistan: about 14 months of language training, extensive archival research, talks and presentations, and collaborations with local scholars, research institutions and civil society organizations
  • Syria and Lebanon: 2 months of Arabic language training and practice, travel, and cultural immersion
  • Iran: 4 weeks of travel and cultural immersion

Language Skills

  • German: Native Speaker
  • English: Advanced
  • Urdu/Hindi: Advanced
  • French: Reading Knowledge
  • Persian: Basic Reading Knowledge
  • Modern Arabic: Basic Reading Knowledge