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Knowledge Society and Culture in the Capital City Baghdad

Conference on August 21-23, 2013, at Freie Universität Berlin: Oriental Metropolis as Place of Intellectual Exchange from 8th to 10th Century

№ 228/2013 from Aug 13, 2013

Baghdad as a space of intellectual encounter, cultural exchange, and interreligious dialogue in the 8th to 10th centuries is the focus of an interdisciplinary and international conference being held August 21 to 23, 2013, in Berlin. The participants will examine the political, cultural, and material conditions for the knowledge society of the metropolis in the early medieval Middle East. The event is being organized by the Topoi Excellence Cluster of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt University of Berlin in cooperation with the Courant Research Centre "Education and Religion" at the University of Göttingen (EDRIS). The meeting is public, and admission is free.

During the so-called “Golden Age of Islam,” after Babylon Bagdad became the epitome of multiculturalism and knowledge transfer in the pre-modern Middle East. In order to reconstruct the various interactions, the conference participants will examine literature and architecture, religion and philosophy, economic systems and politics. The conference is being organized by Prof. Dr. Jens Scheiner (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) and Dr. Isabel Toral-Niehoff (Freie Universität Berlin). An evening lecture will be given on Wednesday, August 21, by the prominent Islamic studies scholar and professor emeritus, Prof. Dr. phil. Dr. h. c. mult. Josef van Ess from Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen on "Bagdad, Vergangenheit ohne Zukunft oder: Hat eine Hauptstadt ,Kultur‘?"

The Excellence Cluster Topoi is a research network of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German Archaeological Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Within the network, researchers from more than 30 disciplines work together. At the Courant Research Centre EDRIS at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, scholars explore education and religion from the early Roman Empire until the classical period of Islam.

Time and Location

  • Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 9:15 a.m. to Friday, August 23, 2013, 1:30 p.m.
  • Evening lecture: Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
  • TOPOI Building Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Thielplatz (U3), Bus M11, 110.

Further Information

  • Sandra Feix, Excellence Cluster Topoi, Coordinator, Research Area B, Tel.: +49 30 / 838-57133, Email: