Seminar für Arabistik / Islamwissenschaft


Born on 31 January 1896 in Göttingen
Died on 13 March 1957 in Göttingen

• Son of a professor of systematic theology
• One semester of study in Kiel; classical philology with W. Jaeger and medieval history with F. Kern, who suggested he study Arabic
• 1914–1918 – army service
• 1919 – studied at Breslau with the Assyrologist B. Meissner
• promoted to Dr. Phil. with a dissertation in Arabic studies
• worked as a publicist in Berlin
• returned to academic work due to the influence of Max Weber
• 1922 – completed his habilitation
• 1926 – appointed as Associate Professor at Breslau, and as Professor and Chair at Königsberg
• 1931 – appointed as Professor at Berlin
• 1946 – appointed as Professor at Göttingen

Schaeder’s immense talent allowed him to acquire a thorough knowledge of the languages, literatures, and history of the Middle East, especially Iran. Through independent studies he was able to apply this knowledge to research into the history of Oriental religions. In fact, for various problems of Manichaeism, he offered ground-breaking solutions (Iranische Beiträge, 1930; Iranica, 1934). Similarly, his great talent for synthesis produced some excellent results for Old Testament and Islamic studies as well (Esra der Schreiber, 1930; Hasan al-Basri, 1919–1924; Hafiz, 1922, etc.). His scientific research into literature (e.g. Goethes Erlebnis des Ostens, 1938) can only be mentioned as an aside here.

Schaeder was firmly rooted in European humanism; he not only witnessed its fatal crisis, but appears to have represented it himself and to have his scholarly activities confined by it as well. Indeed, the living Middle East of his time remained alien to him, something unknown and not very likable.