Nov 202016
 November 20, 2016

Robert G. Morrison, professor and chair of the religion department at Bowdoin College, will be presenting in the Muslim Diasporas Working Group lunch seminar of the Religions and Public Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke: “An Economy of Knowledge in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

This presentation, focused on intellectual life in the Eastern Mediterranean around 1500, will show how much Renaissance Italy owes to earlier scholars located in Islamic societies. The link between the Renaissance and earlier centuries was a network of Jewish scholars who bridged the Ottoman Empire, Candia (on Crete), and the Veneto. These scholars exchanged information on topics that included astronomy, astrology, medicine, philosophy, and religious thought. Although historians of science have been most attracted to the possibility of explaining the parallels between Renaissance astronomy and the astronomy of Islamic societies, this presentation demonstrates that there is a much broader context that comprised a number of fields. Most important, we shall see that information flowed in both directions as the scholarly intermediaries were quite interested in developments in Europe.

Prof. Morrison came to Bowdoin College since 2008.  He teaches courses in the academic study of both Islam and Judaism, but address, in addition, comparative topics. Prof. Morrison’s research has focused on the role of science in Islamic and Jewish texts, as well as in the history of Islamic science.  He has contributed the chapters on Islamic astronomy to the New Cambridge History of Islam and the Cambridge History of Science.

Lunch provided; please RSVP here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Kenan Institute for Ethics,
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room
(West Duke 101)

This spring, the Religions and Public Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics in collaboration with FHI Humanities Futures and the Department of History, will host three scholars of Islamic and comparative studies. Each will give a public talk and participate in the Muslim Diasporas working group seminar during their visit.