CNES receives gift for Muslim-Jewish Lecture Series

CNES receives gift for Muslim-Jewish Lecture SeriesAndrea di Bonaiuto, Apotesosi di San Tommaso d'Aquino, 11 Averroè. (Photo: Sailko, cropped .) Used under license: CC BY 3.

Two-year lecture series will explore the experiences and legacies of Jewish communities in the Muslim world prior to 1900.

An anonymous donor has offered funding to the Center for Near Eastern Studies to initiate the Averroës Lecture Series on Jewish communities living in Muslim lands prior to the twentieth century. The program will offer quarterly lectures over two years by experts from around the world, followed by a major conference featuring young scholars engaged in cutting edge research on the topic.

Averroës is the Latin name of ibn Rushd, the 12th century Andalusian polymath whose philosophical works integrated Islamic traditions with Ancient Greek thought. Over subsequent centuries, his commentaries on Plato and Aristotle influenced Jewish and Christian thinkers throughout Europe, among them Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and Baruch Spinoza.

The series builds on UCLA’s strength in having a large number of faculty across disciplines whose research touches on this topic, as well as a number of research centers interested in a series exploring the experiences and legacies of Jewish communities in the Muslim world.

The steering committee for the program draws on faculty from across the humanities and social sciences at UCLA. The first two speaker events are scheduled for the winter and spring quarters of the current academic year. The Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion will cosponsor the series.

CNES is extremely grateful for the vision, innovation and generosity of this donor whose valuable contribution has enabled us to expand programming at the Center.
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Published: Friday, July 1, 2016