Thinking beyond, and sometimes deliberately against conventions, especially religious traditions, has a long and multifaceted history. It will be proposed that there are constants across the histories of Europe and the Middle East, and that these have come to form critical and self-sustaining masses at a number of moments, chief among which were Abbasid Baghdad and Europe during the Age of Reason.
Aziz Al-Azmeh He received a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford having previously attended university in Beirut and Tübingen. He has been a long-term fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, and fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study and the Collegium Budapest , and was resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Center for Scholars in Bellagio. He has taught at the Central European University since 2002, and previously at the American University of Beirut and the University of Exeter. He has been visiting professor at Yale University, Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley, Georgetown University, and more recently at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations of the Aga Khan University (London) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris. Professor Al-Azmeh has been invited all over the world for various conferences, talks, seminars, lectures and symposia. His latest book in English is The Emergence of Islam in late Antiquity (Cambridge University Press).
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