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  • Thursday, March 10, 2016
  • 3:30 PM–5:00 PM
  • Commons Annex Alumni Association Board Room

Speaker: Anthony Minnema (Valparaiso University)

In twelfth-century Spain, an exiled Muslim prince, Sayf al-Dawla, served the Christian king of Castile for fifteen years as a diplomat and general, often fighting other Muslims. But when Muslims in southern Spain requested his assistance to expel the regime that exiled him, he left his king to help lead the rebellion. After a year of fighting, he called upon his Christian allies for support, but they turned on him and assassinated him. Dr. Anthony Minnema (’05) answers the questions of why Sayf al-Dawla died and why his story matters for our understanding of interfaith politics, past and present. 

Anthony Minnema earned his BA in History from Calvin College, and an MA in Medieval Studies from Western Michigan University. He completed his doctorate in European History from the University of Tennessee. He is currently a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at Valparaiso University. His areas of research and teaching interest include premodern Christian-Muslim relations, Arabic-to-Latin translation movements, and the history of information technology. His book manuscript, Algazel in Latin Christendom, 1150-1600, is under contract with Amsterdam University Press. The monograph examines the European audience of a Latin translation of an Arabic philosophical work, The Intentions of the Philosophers, by the Muslim theologian al-Ghazali. This project uses this work as a lens to see the rise, decline, and recovery of the Arabic philosophical tradition in premodern Europe. The book redefines Arabic philosophy’s role in the European intellectual tradition and reverses the standard narrative of European history in which humanism triumphs as an advance over a narrow scholasticism.

Sponsored by the Medieval Studies program and the History Department.

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