Honors Reads The House of Wisdom

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  • June 1, 2018

“For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was backward and benighted, locked into the Dark Ages and barely able to tell the time of day. Augustine had decreed that belief, not reason, should be the guiding light of Christian thinking and partially as a result Europeans lived in a world of nominal literacy and subsistence farming, where blind faith, superstition and sorcery took the place of medicine, and the church harnessed nascent aggression among the kingdoms to its own ends in the pursuit of astonishingly violent and cruel holy wars – the Crusades. Arab culture, however, was thriving, and had become a powerhouse of intellectual exploration and discussion that dazzled the likes of Adelard of Bath who ventured to the Near East in search of the scientific riches pouring out of cities like Antioch or Baghdad, whose House of Wisdom held four hundred thousand books at a time when the best European libraries housed, at most, several dozen.”

Humanities and Religious Studies Professor William Zangeneh-Lester will speak about the importance this book holds in our times when, especially now, we might forget the massive contributions different civilizations have made to our very own, and how interconnected humans and history are.

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