After completing a six-and-a-half year term as head of the History Department this summer, Tom Burman has been awarded an NEH fellowship during academic year 2013-14. He will use the time on leave to write the first draft of a book entitled The Dominicans, Islam, and Christian Thought, 1220-1320. By examining how seven members of the elite Dominican religious order engaged with and thought about both Islam and the Arab intellectual tradition that was so profoundly influencing Latin-Christian thought, this book will explore the complicatedways that the Christian scholastic tradition variously embraced, disavowed,concealed, admired, and feared the beliefs and culture of its great Arab-Islamic rival civilization.
Professor Burman is a scholar of medieval Christian-Muslim intellectual and religious relations whose research has been supported previously by fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation (1992-93) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) (2002-03). He is the author of some twenty articles and two books, Religious Polemic and the Intellectual History of the Mozarabs, c. 1050-1200 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994) and Reading the Qur’an in Latin Christendom, 1140-1560 (Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) which won the American Philosophical Society’s Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History.