Conway Lecture 1 with Peter Adamson (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): "Taqlīd: Authority and the Intellectual Elite in the Islamic World"


Location: Oak Room, South Dining Hall (View on

Conway 2019 Poster

Reception to follow.

Our 2019 Conway Lecturer will be Professor Peter Adamson, Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The title of this year’s lecture series is ""Don’t Think for Yourself: Faith and Authority in Medieval Philosophy," and the lectures will run back-to-back-to-back from September 24th through 26th. status of truths found in Aristotle and other ancient authors, and the

This series of lectures will address itself to questions of authority and belief formation in three medieval cultures: Latin Christendom, the Byzantine East, and the Islamic world. The lectures will challenge the widespread assumption that these were authority-bound cultures in which freedom of thought and expression was nearly impossible. In particular, it will be shown that a wide variety of medieval thinkers sought to avoid what in Arabic was called taqlīd, the uncritical acceptance of authority. Further topics will include the status of pagan authority, as thinkers of the Abrahamic faiths wrestled with the status of truths found in Aristotle and other ancient authors, and the strategies used by female writers to establish their own authority.

Peter Adamson received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2000 and is now Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. He still retains a connection to the Philosophy Department at King’s College, London, where he was on the faculty until 2012. He has published widely in ancient and medieval philosophy and is the host of the popular podcast series History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, which appears as a book series with Oxford University Press.

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