Lecture “From Athens to Baghdad: Greek-Arabic Thought and Sciences”

7 December 2019

MOHA Research Center, in the context of its project to reveal the cultural diversity and the contribution of the Muslim scientists to the modern culture, organized a lecture titled “From Athens to Baghdad: Greek-Arabic Thought and Sciences”, which took place on Saturday, 7th of December, at 19:00 in the Imaret’s mosque.

Two distinguished professors, Dimitris Gutas, Professor of Greek-Arabic Studies at Yale University, and Garth Fowden, Professor of Abrahamic Religions at Cambridge University, had a dialogue of religious and scientific interest. They analyzed the contribution of Arabs and Byzantines to the study of the ancient Greek philosophy and science, and exchanged thoughts and views on the Arabic philosophy and its relationship to Christianity and Islam.

Born in Cairo in 1945, Dimitris Goutas is a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Yale University in the United States. His main research interests relate to the medieval Arabic spiritual tradition, and more specifically to Avicenna and the tradition of ancient Greek scientific and philosophical works in the Arabic-Islamic world (especially from 8th to 10th century in Baghdad). In the field of Greek-Arabic studies, he is considered one of the best scientists. He was one of the authors in Yale’s project “Theophrastus”. He also collaborated with Professor Gerhard Endress of Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany to create the Greek-Arabic dictionary. He has published several articles in scientific journals, as well as books on the subjects of his studies.

Garth Fowden, Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths at University of Cambridge read Modern History at Merton College, Oxford, and there also wrote his doctoral thesis on Pagan philosophers in late antique society, with special reference to Iamblichus and his followers (1979). Between 1978 and 1983 he held research fellowships at Peterhouse and at Darwin College, Cambridge. From 1983 to 1985 he taught Byzantine and Modern Greek History at Groningen University in the Netherlands, whence he moved to a position at the National Research Foundation, Athens, and then to the Sultan Qaboos Chair in 2013. He has held visiting appointments at Princeton University; the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan; the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris; and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.