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Grant number like: FB-54374-09

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Linda Rabieh
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA 02139-4307)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010

Averroes on Plato's Republic

My proposed book project begins from the recognition that we today have an urgent need to learn how our secular and modern rationalist culture can begin to engage in a political dialogue with Islam. It argues that, in order to address this need, we must begin by deepening our understanding of Islamic political thought and that this can be fruitfully accomplished by studying a long-neglected commentary by the medieval Islamic philosopher Averroes on Plato's Republic. Averroes' commentary is a serious study of Plato's work in which he both grapples with the Republic and reworks it in surprising and crucial ways. Most prominent among those ways is Averroes' attempt to reconcile the duty of Jiha'd with Plato's teaching and in doing so to transform both. By studying how Averroes navigates between Plato and Islam, my book will explore Averroes' and Plato's thought as well as the contours of a possible dialogue between Islam and Western rationalism.