Science and Civilization in Islam has remained unsurpassed as the authoritative statement on this subject. With his characteristic breadth of learning, clarity of exposition and insight, Seyyed Hossein Nasr presents here for the first time a full picture of Islamic science, not as a chapter in the history of Western science, but as an integral aspect of Islamic civilisation and the Islamic intellectual tradition.
By means of an historical presentation, an analysis of its forms, including the use of passages from the writings of many Muslim scientists and philosophers, the author is able to convey not only a sense of the operative context of Islamic science but he also demonstrates its inter-relatedness with the sapiential wisdom on which it is based. An introductory chapter provides the reader with a necessary orientation to the subject according to the principles of Islam, while subsequent chapters survey the whole spectrum of the individual sciences from cosmology, philosophy, and theology to alchemy, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine concluding with a chapter on the gnostic tradition.
For this edition, Dr Nasr has written a preface surveying the fields covered in the book since its first appearance in 1968, and has provided a supplement that brings the Bibliography up to date.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born in Teheran to a family of traditional scholars and physicians. After receiving his early education in Iran, he went to America where he studied physics and the history of science and philosophy at M.I.T. and Harvard, where he received his doctorate. Nasr was Professor at Teheran University and founder and first President of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He is currently Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University and author of numerous books including: Islam and the Plight of Modern Man, A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Modern World and Ideals and Realities of Islam, all published by the Islamic Texts Society.