Jerusalem Summer 2008

Mormons Instigate Islamic Philosophy Translation

Kant , Rousseau, Locke, Al Ghazali?  College professors may add Arab philosophers to their course repertoire in the future. 

I helped gift one of the first newly translated texts to the library adjacent to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Dome of the Rock complex.

Dan Peterson, a Mormon at Brigham Young University is editor in chief over the translation of the Arab World’s great theologians, philosophers, and mystics.  When medieval Europeans to the north squandered the texts of their philosophical traditions, Arabs translated those writings and improved them with astute scientific, mathematical, and philosophical insight.

Now with English on the left of the page and the original Arabic on the right the translations provide Western scholars unparalleled access to the original intent of thinkers ahead of their time.

Why take a look?

Even if you’re not a serious reader of philosophy, here are a few reasons to look

  • Read what Arabs thought during Europe’s medieval period.
  • The translated texts illuminate nuance in the Arab traditions of Islam, Christianity, and Mysticism yet unstudied by most of the Western world.
  • Some of the translations are rather short and digestible with translation notes and explanations for the general reader.  Some while lengthy are actually collections of writers.
  • Dan Peterson and the advisory board procure the services of the best scholars and translators in the field from across the country, Mormon and not Mormon, for the work.
  • Owning an Arab philosophical text is liberating and forward thinking.  Buy them in hard cover for a classy addition to your book shelf.

My connection

As a young twenty year old Arabic student in Jerusalem I helped gift one of the first newly translated texts to the library adjacent to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Dome of the Rock complex.  I couldn’t think of a better way to honor a great religious tradition than to make it more available for others to study.

Daniel C. Peterson, Ph.D. speaks Arabic, studied under Arab scholars for four years in Cairo


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