Johannes Pedersen, Encyclopaedia of Islam og den muslimske verden

  • Jørgen Bæk Simonsen Det Kongelige Bibliotek


Jørgen Bæk Simonsen: Johannes Pedersen, Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim World.   The manuscript collection at the Royal Library consists of a very large collection of papers by the Danish Orientalist Johannes Pedersen (1883–1977). Pedersen’s works were of great importance to the study of Islam and Muslim culture and, in 1949, he was therefore appointed by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters to represent Danish Orientalist research in a joint European initiative to publish a new edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, which had first been published between 1910 and 1934, with a supplementary volume in German, English and French in 1930.   Pedersen was the host of an editorial meeting held in Copenhagen in September, 1955. Pedersen’s papers illustrate how the group of European Orientalists at the meeting was required to deal with criticism from Muslim groups. In the summer of 1955, a small pamphlet was published in Pakistan with the title No Muslim Participation??? that criticised the manner in which the editorial board behind the new publication of the Encyclopaedia of Islam was established. The pamphlet was followed up by protests directed against the editorial board that, at its meeting in Copenhagen, was obliged to address the issue.   Pedersen’s papers also show that individual German Orientalists felt left out of the joint European initiative to prepare a new edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, and it is concluded that letters sent to Pedersen are evidence of the fact that it was German Orientalists who mobilised groups in Pakistan to criticise the composition of the editorial board.  
Simonsen, J. (2015). Johannes Pedersen, Encyclopaedia of Islam og den muslimske verden. Fund Og Forskning I Det Kongelige Biblioteks Samlinger, 50.