John Tolan#

John Tolan
Membership Number:3532
Membership type:ORDINARY
Affiliated section(s):HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGY
Main Country of Residence:FRANCE

Present and Previous Positions
  • 1996 - present Université de Nantes, Département d'Histoire, Professeur d’histoire médiévale (September, 2002 - present); Maître de Conférences en histoire médiévale (September, 1996-August, 2002).
  • 2021 Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes Acting director.
  • 2008 - 2011 Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Ange Guépin, Nantes, Director (Director of a major interdisciplinary research center in the social sciences (see Associate director (2006 - 2008)
  • 1994 - 1996 University of North Carolina at Greensboro, History Department, Assistant Professor
  • 1992 - 1994 Stanford University, History Department, Lecturer.
  • 1990 - 1992 University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, Honors Program & Classics Department, Lecturer

Fields of Scholarship
  • History of Islam in Europe
  • History of Muslim-christian relations
  • History of religious polemics
  • Medieval history
  • Medieval Latin
  • History of Medieval law
  • Cultural history
  • History of Franciscanism
  • History of the medieval mediterranean
  • History of religion/religious studies

Honours and Awards
  • Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes (October 2020-June 2023), Member of the Institute.
  • European Research Council,Horizon 2020, Synergy Grant (April 2019-March 2025, €9 842 000). Funds the research program “The European Qur’ān”, a joint research piloted by Mercedes García-Arenal (Madrid), Roberto Tottoli (Naples), Jan Loop (Copenhagen) and myself in Nantes. See
  • Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona (2020-present). Elected corresponding fellow of the Academy.
  • Région Pays de la Loire, « Connect Talent » (March 2015-February 2019 ; € 400,000) : grant funded the establishment of the Institut de Pluralisme Religieux et de l’Athéisme (
  • European Research Council, Seventh Framework Program, Advanced Researcher Grant (March 2010-February 2015; 2,300,000 €). Funds the research project: “RELMIN: The legal status of religious minorities in the Euro-Mediterranean world (5th-15th centuries)”, for which I am the principal investigator. See
  • Académie Française, Prix Diane Potier-Boès (November, 2008; €1500). History book prize for Le Saint chez le sultan. National Endowment for the Humanities, fellowship (January-September, 2005; $40,000). Funded research and writing of St. Francis and the Sultan
  • Center for the Humanities, Oregon State University, Visiting Research Fellowship (January-June, 2005; $16,000). Residential fellowship complemented concurrent NEH fellowship
  • American Council of Learned Societies, Fellowship (September, 1999-August, 2000; $36,000). Funded a full year of research in order to complete Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination
  • Institute for Research in the Humanities, Madison, Wisconsin, Honorary Fellowship (January-July, 2000 and July-August, 1998). Non-stipendiary fellowship providing membership to the Institute
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend. (May-July, 1995; $4000). Funded research in Spanish medieval manuscript collections for Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination
  • Century Scholarship, University of Chicago (September, 1985-June, 1989). Funded full tuition and fees at the University of Chicago

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