In the 1980s, Irene Zwiep read classics and Semitic philology in Amsterdam and Jerusalem. In 1995 she obtained her PhD (with a thesis on medieval Jewish and Arabic philosophy of language) and joined the London Warburg Institute as a post-doctoral Frances Yates Fellow. Since her appointment as chair of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 1997, she has been working on European Jewish intellectual history from the Middle Ages onwards, with a special interest in the interface of scholarship, politics, and public discourse. She is currently developing a collaborative research project on Jewish prayer as an alternative knowledge order. Since 2003, she has acted as chair of the Academic Committee of the Levisson Foundation, the Rabbinical Training Programme of the Dutch Union of Progressive Jews.