Anthony Minnema is a doctoral student in pre-modern European history working under professor Thomas Burman. Minnema is specializing in medieval intellectual history, specifically the transmission of texts and scholarship from Arabic into Latin. His interests include studying Latin translations of Islamic theological and scientific texts to find out how Christian scholars found and used these translations. Minnema plans to observe the presence of Islamic conceptualizations of the attributes of God in Christian polemical texts. He also is working on a manuscript concerning the astrolabe to see how astronomy was justified and practiced in the High Middle Ages.
Minnema earned his BA at Calvin College and his MA in Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University where he was a graduate instructor for two years. His MA thesis, “Making Marginal Progress: Medieval Christendom’s First Attempt to Study Islam,” pertained to a twelfth-century project commissioned by the abbot of Cluny to translate several Islamic theological texts, namely the Qur’an, from Arabic to Latin. Minnema hopes to build on this research to find other instances of Latin scholars utilizing Arabic sources to expand European knowledge. Anthony has received considerable funding for his studies from UT and the history department, having been awarded the Herman Spivey Graduate Fellowship for 2008–2009. He is active in the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, participating in Latin and Arabic reading groups.