LIVNAT HOLTZMAN is an expert in Islamic theology. She specializes in traditionalist theology from the inception of Islam until the 15th century, and has published extensively on the thought of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. Currently she is Associate Professor in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University.
Her main research interests are: (1) the presence of the theological discourse in the public sphere of the medieval societies; (2) Hadith literature (in the widest sense of the term) and its role in theological debates; (3) non-textual elements in the process of Hadith transmission.
Recently, she published Anthropomorphism in Islam: The Challenge of Traditionalism (700-1350), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (March 2018). This monograph focuses on the discussions on the divine attributes and tashbīh among the traditionalistic circles in the major centres of learning (Medina, Baghdad, Basra, Kufa, Nishapur, Damascus, and Cairo) in the Islamic world. The muḥaddithūn (Hadith scholars) in these learning centres vehemently argued about the interpretation of aḥādīth al-ṣifāt (anthropomorphic Hadith text-units). This monograph highlights the complicated social networks and political settings in which the discourse about anthropomorphism existed. The monograph contains the first large-scale analysis of the language of gestures in the theological discourse.