Paul E. Kahle

Paul Ernst Kahle (January 21, 1875 in Hohenstein September 24, 1964 in Düsseldorf) was a German orientalist and scholar.

He was born in East Prussia and studied orientalism and theology in Marburg. He attained his doctorate in 1898. He was a Lutheran pastor. He studied semitic philology in Cairo between 1908 and 1918. In 1918, he was promoted to a full professorship (Ordinary professor) at Gießen University, a chair previously held by Friedrich Schwally. In 1923, he switched to Bonn University, where he developed the Eastern Studies curriculum by adding a Chinese and a Japanese class.

After his wife helped a Jewish neighbor whose shop was ransacked during the Kristallnacht of 1938, the family was persecuted by the Nazis. Kahle immigrated to England where he joined the University of Oxford in 1939, having been dismissed from his university post in Bonn, owing at least in great part to the fact that he had a Polish rabbi (Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg) as an assistant. At Oxford he gained two further doctorates. During this period in Oxford he suffered the personal tragedy of his son Paul's untimely death.

Kahle returned to Germany after the war, where he pursued his research as Professor Emeritus. His principal academic renown is as editor of the Hebrew Bible.

Part of his work is published in the book What the Koran Really Says, edited by Ibn Warraq.


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