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Religion and the Rise and Fall of Islamic Science

Wednesday 29 May 2019, 1.00PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Eric Chaney (Oxford)

1:1 appointments: Please sign up here.

Host: Matthias Morys

Abstract: The rise and subsequent decline of scientific output in the medieval Islamic world are documented and linked to institutional changes. The expansion of secular bureaucratic institutions led to the rise of scientific production whereas their contraction ---and the concomitant increase in the political power of religious leaders--- explains the decline. Newly empowered religious elites altered the educational framework to discourage the unrestricted study of science and other topics that undermined their control over beliefs. The paper concludes that secular state capacity can help constrain rent-seeking religious leader

Location: A/D271

Admission: All welcome