Friday, February 23, 2018 3:00 PM
Mass Humanities and Harvard Book Store welcome Assistant Professor of History at Williams College ALEXANDER BEVILACQUA for a discussion of his new book, "The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment." In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Christian scholars laid the groundwork for the modern Western understanding of Islamic civilization. These men produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an into a European language, mapped the branches of the Islamic arts and sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. The Republic of Arabic Letters reconstructs this process, revealing the influence of Catholic and Protestant intellectuals on the secular Enlightenment understanding of Islam and its written traditions.