Magic and Medical Eclecticism Among Medieval Muslims

This lecture is the first in a series on Health, Healing and Islam Across the Muslim World co-hosted by the African Studies Center and the Center for Near Eastern Studies. Edgar Francis IV, UCLA Islamic Studies, will present.

Thursday, October 16, 2003
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Room 10383 Bunche Hall
10th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90095

In medieval Islamic societies, as in most societies throughout history, people did not rely solely on professional physicians to preserve and restore their health, but exhibited a broad "medical eclecticism," picking and choosing from a variety of medical systems and treatments. This paper discusses this phenomenon in general, and specifically some of the systems from which medieval Muslims would pick and choose, including Galenic medicine, the medicine of the Prophet, and magical healing.

Edgar Francis, IV holds degrees in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Currently he is a doctoral candidate in UCLA's Interdisciplinary Program in Islamic Studies. His dissertation, "Magical Protection and Healing in the Thirteenth-Century Islamic World," addresses the growing use of specifically Islamic symbols for the preservation and restoration of health and well-being in the thirteenth century CE. This dissertation and today's talk are based in part on reserach undertaken in Tunis with the support of an IIE-administered Fulbright Grant. He has presented several papers on different aspects of the occult in medieval Islam. Other research interests include the history of medicine and science generally in the medieval Islamic world and Sufi doctrine and practice in the period. Recently, he had the honor of teaching a new course on "Introduction to Sufism" through UCLA's Collegium of University Teaching Fellows.


Special Instructions

The event is free. For off campus visitors, parking at UCLA is available for $7 in Lot 3. Refreshments will be served.

Cost : free and open to the public

For more information please contact:

James S. ColemanAfrican Studies Center

Tel: 310-825-3686

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Center for Near Eastern Studies