lack of easily accessible bio/bibliographical resources on Islam and science
is one of the most important limiting factors in the growth of Islam and
science discourse. This missing link is also crucial for the whole field of
religion and science for it means that almost one thousand years of human
endeavour in the field of religion and science remains under utilized in the
contemporary discourse. There are literally hundreds of works from the
Islamic scientific tradition that are still relevant to the discourse on
science and religion because they have dealt with the fundamental issues.
Realizing the importance of these resources
for science and religion discourse in general and for Islam and science in
particular, the Center for Islam and Science (CIS) has embarked upon a major
undertaking: CIS plans to complete the first phase of its project on the
development of web-based resources on Islam and science. The new resources are
accessible at www.cis-ca.org and the site
is being updated on a weekly basis; the deadline for the completion of the first
phase of this two-year project is December 31, 2001. The whole project will be
completed by December 31, 2002.
Components of the Project
(ii) Major Voices in Islam and Science
(iii) Annotated Bibliography
(iv) Islam and Science through the Ages
The Glossary/Index is the most direct way
of searching the database for all entries. This includes
links to biographical notes, technical terms and major works. In case of
familiar Latinized names, such as Avicenna, the entry can be search by both the
original Arabic name, Ibn Sina, as well as by the Latin version.
Voices in Islam and Science
offers the most comprehensive database of major voices in Islam and science
discourse. Our database covers the entire period of Islamic tradition¾
the eighth to the twenty-first century. Any database of this nature has to
remain a work in progress by its very definition. But by the time of the
completion of the current project (December 31, 2002), CIS hopes to have
complete listing of major contemporary scholars and a near complete listing of
the pre-twentieth century scholars.
Who is included?
This periodically updated annotated
biographical database is limited to those scientists/scholars whose work has
contributed to the discourse on the relationship between Islam and science. This
may mean exclusion of some of the most significant Muslim scientists whose
scientific work is of immense value to science itself but who have not written
on the relationship between Islam and science.
For the same reason, those eminent scholars of Islam who have not written
about science will not be included.
For the purposes of this database, the
Islamic scientific tradition has been divided into three periods: The first
period starts from the beginning of the Islamic scientific tradition in the
eighth century and ends at 1800 AD. The second period covers 1800 to 1950 AD and
the third starts from 1950; this last period will remain open ended; making it
possible for us to continuously update the list as more scholars join the
This division is not entirely arbitrary;
many factors specific to the developments within the Islamic scientific
tradition have informed our choice. However, in the final analysis, it is an
editorial decision that we have had to make in order to delimit the task.
The annotated bibliography on Islam and
science provides introductory remarks about some of the most important works in
the field. The period and subjects cover the entire range of Islamic science. It
is also a work in progress.
Science Through the Ages
This historical time line provides an easy
way of searching major developments in the history of Islam and science
discourse. It is internally linked to the bio/bibliographical database thus
making it easier to tap all resources available in the database. Hijrah dates
precede the Common Era dates.
The Editors are thankful to Professor
Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Professor Osman Bakr for their valuable advice and
inputs. This project is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.