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August 26, 2019 22 min
Traditionally, accounts of the scientific advances of the Renaissance have focused on the contributions of famous individuals like Copernicus whose theories about heavenly bodies radically altered how we understood the arrangement of the universe and our place in it. Increasingly, though, historians have noted striking parallels between the work of figures like Copernicus and their contemporaries in the Islamic world though they’ve not been able to fully explain how these similarities arose. NHC Fellow Robert Morrison, professor of religion at Bowdoin College, has been working to trace the connections between these thinkers. In this podcast, Morrison talks about his work to uncover the ways that scientific knowledge moved across continents and between cultures during this fertile time in Mediterranean intellectual life as Jewish, Muslim, and Christian merchants crossed paths, encountering and translating each other’s ideas about astrology, medicine, law, and astronomy forming coupling the exchange of goods with an economy of knowledge.
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