Scientific Traditions in Islamic Societies (STIS):


This research program aims to transform the conventional view of pre-1800 Islamic intellectual history by providing concrete and verifiable evidence that a non-religious cosmology was integrated into the worldview of a substantial number of Muslim intellectuals and educated laypeople, and that this worldview found a place within both religious and secular institutions. It also aims to challenge our understanding of early modern European science by showing that a number of its salient features usually taken to prove European exceptionalism had, in fact, Islamic roots. To accomplish these goals, the program focuses on three main research themes: 1) the development of a secular, scientific cosmology that became integral to Islamic societies; 2) the transformation of Hellenistic astronomy within Islam that laid the foundation for modern science; and 3) the evolution of the relationship between an independent science and Abrahamic revelation that is one of the cornerstones of modernism.

The methodology will consist of the careful examination of previously unstudied but nevertheless key works in Islamic scientific cosmology and the use of an innovative, sophisticated database that will map the intellectual, institutional, religious, and social contexts of this tradition. This project and its database will provide the model and methodological basis for a larger international collaboration of the leading researchers and institutions in all fields of Islamic science.





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Böötes superimposed on an astronomical treatise
The Tusi Couple
Andromeda superimposed on an astronomical treatise

An Ottoman Cosmology



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