The Global Studies Seminar welcomes Hadi Jorati, presenting “The Sciences in the Golden Age of Islam.” Jorati is an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University.
Jorati earned his first doctorate in Mathematics from Princeton University and was employed as a research mathematician before switching to the study of the intellectual history of pre-modern Islamic Societies in the Near East. After graduating from Yale with a degree in Near Eastern studies and History, he joined the faculty of the Ohio State University and simultaneously holds a position as Research Associate of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. Jorati studies the history of the sciences and more generally intellectual activity in Islamic societies in its social context, to arrive at a better understanding of the socio-intellectual milieu of pre-modern Islamic Societies.
The study of the History of the Sciences in Pre-Modern and Early Modern societies, has traditionally been focused on Europe, as the birthplace of the Scientific Revolution, and the locus of the major scientific advances that have shaped the modern World as we know it. Parallel to that, scholars in the field of Oriental Studies have long been aware of the contributions of the Islamic Societies during a certain early period, usually dubbed as “The Golden Age of the Islamic Civilizations.” Furthermore, there has long been a tradition of the study of the “scientific exchange” or the role of the Islamic Societies in the transfer of knowledge to Europe and its role in the European Renaissance. In this talk, we will discuss the circumstances of this division, and present a major critique of its basic assumptions.