Project (2015-2018)

Teaching and Learning the Sciences in Islamicate Societies (800-1700)

This invited book written for undergraduate students brings together my studies of various sources such as scientific texts, biographical dictionaries, or manuscript catalogues to refute the thesis that the sciences in Islamicate societies were exercised outside the educational institutions that these societies developed over the centuries of their existence. This applies first and foremost to the untenable claim that they were not taught at madrasas and mosques. But I deal with the problem created by this thesis also by looking for other institutional forms of teaching and learning such as house teachers, family education, professional apprenticeship, and travel in search of knowledge. By paying attention to the main teaching texts and their content and to forms of classification of knowledge and encyclopedic surveys of the entire spectrum of taught and learned disciplinary forms of knowledge I also provide insights into important aspects of the intellectual life after 1200, a period which many historians of science as well as experts in Islamic Studies still consider as devoid of serious scientific activities.