Academic Field: 
Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

Fred Donner's research has dealt with the role of pastoral nomadic groups in Near Eastern societies, the early Islamic conquests and the relationship between pastoral nomads and the state. His books include The Early Islamic Conquests (1981) and Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (1998). More recently, Donner's interests have shifted to the intellectual or ideological factors at play in the early expansion of Islam, particularly the significance of militant piety, possibly rooted in an apocalyptic outlook. His latest book, Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam was released in May of 2010.