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Thomas Burman

August 2, 2013

Thomas Burman

Thomas Burman

Thomas Burman, professor of history, is a scholar of medieval Christian-Muslim intellectual and religious relations whose research has been supported previously by fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation (1992-93) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) (2002-03). He is the author of some twenty articles and two books, Religious Polemic and the Intellectual History of the Mozarabs, c. 1050-1200 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994) and Reading the Qur’an in Latin Christendom, 1140-1560 (Philadelphia:  The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) which won the American Philosophical Society’s Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History.

After completing a six-and-a-half year term as head of the History Department on August 1, Burman will hold a second NEH fellowship during academic year 2013-14, and will use the time on leave to write the first draft of a book entitled The Dominicans, Islam, and Christian Thought, 1220-1320. By examining how seven members of the elite Dominican religious order engaged with and thought about both Islam and the Arab intellectual tradition that was so profoundly influencing Latin-Christian thought, this book will explore the complicated ways that the Christian scholastic tradition variously embraced, disavowed, concealed, admired, and feared the beliefs and culture of its great Arab-Islamic rival civilization.

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