Feb 162018
 
 February 16, 2018  Tagged with:

On February 22, Religions and Public Life will host a seminar featuring a new project by Dr. Michael McVaugh (UNC-CH), Dr. Gerrit Bos (Cologne), and Dr. Joseph Shatzmiller (Duke), speaking on the medieval transmission and translation of Arabic medical texts through the West.

Thursday, February 22
3:30-5:30PM
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room,
West Duke Building, Room 101

Abstract: The transforming effect of Islamic learning on medieval European civilization, far more poorly known today than it should be, was facilitated by a flood of Arabic-to-Latin translations of medical and philosophical writings in the years 1000-1300. The interreligious and intercultural aspects of these translations and transmissions are notable: Jews were often intermediates in translation because they could read the Arabic and translate it into the Romance vernacular for the Christian translators to go on and turn into Latin. The speakers will give a summary account of this movement, and then go on to examine its effects more closely by studying one specific medical translation that is an utterly unique witness to the process of Arabic-Latin translation in general—its difficulties and its successes, and its methods, with their combination of faithfulness to the original and successful adaptation to new circumstances. This 12th-c Arabic work exists in a Latin version made by a Jewish scholar who translated the Arabic into the Romance vernacular for a Christian surgeon to turn into Latin, and then made his own Hebrew translation of the same text. The speakers will invite reflections on how far translation can allow one culture’s achievements to be communicated to and internalized by another.

Joseph Shatzmiller is the Smart Family Professor Emeritus in Judaic Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. He is the author of Shylock Reconsidered: Jews, Moneylending and Medieval Society and a more recent volume on Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society, along with numerous essays on European Jewry in the Middle Ages. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research, and he has taught Jewish history at the University of Haifa and the University of Toronto.

Michael McVaugh is Professor Emeritus and William Smith Wells Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the growth of medical and surgical learning in the Middle Ages, particularly as shaped by the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century universities, and on the concomitant medicalization of European life. Since 1975 he has been a general editor of the collected Latin writings of one of the most famous of medieval physicians, Arnau de Vilanova (d. 1311), a series now nearly complete. Most recently he has been engaged in a series of studies investigating aspects of the process of translation of medical literature in the Middle Ages: translations between Arabic and Latin, between Hebrew and Latin, and between Latin and the European vernaculars.

Gerrit Bos is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Martin-Buber-Institut at Cologne University. His main fields of research are medieval Jewish-Islamic science, especially medicine, medieval Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic. Current projects include developing critical editions of Maimonides’ medical works, and editing and translating previously unpublished middle Hebrew medical-botanical texts. (Dr. Bos will be unable to join the seminar at this time.)

For more information, please contact Amber Díaz Pearson. Those coming from outside of Duke University may request a parking pass.

Oct 072017
 
 October 7, 2017  Tagged with:

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics will host on March 5, 2018 a talk with Udi Greenberg, Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College. His talk will explore the recent scholarly critique of religious freedom. Over the last decade or so, there has been a surge in left-leaning critique of religious liberty (essentially claiming it is a highly problematic and often oppressive concept). Much of this work has drawn on provocative Christian theologians, who have articulated similar ideas. His work looks at the process of this intellectual convergence, its values and limits, and what their implications for contemporary political theory could be.

Monday, March 5
3:00-5:00PM
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room,
West Duke Building, room 101

Udi Greenberg is an historian of Modern European thought, especially Europe’s engagement with the wider world.  His studies and teachings have concentrated on modern European history, political institution building, and religious thought. His first book, The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2014), uncovers the intellectual, political, and institutional forces that shaped Germany’s reconstruction after World War II and the broader ideological genesis of the Cold War. By tracing the careers of influential German émigrés of diverse theoretical and political backgrounds, it claims that political ideas from Weimar Germany (1918-1933) were fundamental in molding the postwar order in Europe and the construction of American global hegemony. It was awarded the Council of European Studies’ 2016 Book Prize (for best first book in European studies published in 2014-2015). Greenberg is currently working on a second book-length project, tentatively titled From “Enemies of the Cross” to “Brethren in Faith”: Global Politics and the End of Europe’s Protestant-Catholic War, 1885-1965.

For more information, please contact Amber Diaz Pearson at amber.diaz@duke.edu

Jun 222017
 
 June 22, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, in collaboration with the Duke University Center for Jewish Studies, invites applications for graduate scholars for the academic year 2017-2018. The call is open to graduate and professional students, as well as postdocs, at Duke University wishing to take part in interdisciplinary student-led seminars, focusing on Religions and Public Life, with a special thematic focus on Minorities and Diasporas.

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that make up the public sphere. A joint endeavor with Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and Duke Divinity School, it is an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement.

The graduate scholars will have the opportunity to develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship. Members take active part in the events of Religions and Public Life and commit to attending monthly meetings throughout the academic year. Graduate scholars also commit to writing a think-piece or blog post relating their research to contemporary issues, to be published on the Religions and Public Life website at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Graduate scholars will receive funding of up to $1,500 in reimbursements for research expenses.

To apply, please submit the materials listed below to Dr. Amber Pearson (amber.diaz@duke.edu) by July 14, 2017, with subject line: “Religions & Public Life graduate scholars.” Awards will be announced in mid-July. An application should include:

  • A curriculum vita.
  • A one-page abstract for a research project, describing how it connects to Religions and Public Life and the Minorities and Diasporas theme. Please include the topic, objectives of your project, and relevance to the discipline or field of study as well as your academic trajectory. Additionally, please include how your project may contribute to the scholarly community.
  • A research budget. Scholars may be asked to share their research and findings by participating in colloquia or panel discussions during the year of their fellowship or the following year.