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Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion
- Academic year 2013-14
- PhD, Ecole Pratiques des Hautes Etudes in Paris
- MD, Cairo University
Ahmed Ragab joined HDS in July 2011 as the Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion at Harvard Divinity School. He was a visiting lecturer at the Divinity School for the 2009 fall semester and since 2008 had been a postdoctoral fellow and then lecturer in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. A physician, historian, and scholar of the medieval and modern Middle East, with a medical degree from Cairo University and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science from the Ecole Pratiques des Hautes Etudes in Paris, he was a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Cairo, where he directed the organization's Science and Religion and the History of Science programs. In 2008, he was a researcher for the project "Public Policies, Professional Practices and Agents' Conduct Regarding the Risk of Avian Flu (Egypt, France, India, Niger, UK, Vietnam)." From 2003 to 2007, he served as a physician at the Kasr al-Aini Cairo University Teaching Hospital.
Ragab's work includes the history and development of medieval Islamic sciences, the relationship between science and religion in the medieval and modern Middle East, the history of medieval Islamic hospitals, and the intellectual and cultural history of women in the region. He has completed monographic studies of institutionalization and modernization in medieval and early modern science and medicine within Islamic cultures and he writes on contemporary questions at the foundations of science, religion, and culture. Ragab is also the author of numerous articles and book sections and papers. His book "Al-Qawl al-Sarih fi ilm al-Tashrih: Anatomy, medicine and religion in the Ottoman Middle East" is an edition of a rare manuscript on anatomy from eighteenth-century Ottoman Egypt and is set to appear in 2013. He is currently completing two book projects: "A Biography of a Hospital: Medicine, Religion and Charity in the Medieval Middle East," which is a study of the medieval Islamic hospital; and "In the Name of God the Healer: Prophetic Medicine in the Medieval and Modern Middle East," a study of the development of prophetic medicine from the medieval to the contemporary period. Ragab is also working on a research project on perceptions of bodies, genders, and sexualities in medical, religious, and cultural views in the Islamic world. He is also a member of the Commission on History of Science and Technology in Islamic Societies.
Current and Future Courses
- Al-Azhar: Themes and Discussions in the History of Islamic Thought (Spring 2015)
- Bodies and Sexualities in the Medieval Middle East: Medical, Cultural, and Religious Views (Fall 2014)
- Crusades, Plagues and Hospitals: Medicine, Religion and Society in the Medieval Mediterranean (Fall 2015)
- Knowledge on the Move: Cultures of Science and Religion in the Medieval World (Spring 2015)
- Prophetic Medicine: Islam and Medicine in the Middle East (Spring 2016)
- Science and Religion: Debates, Approaches, and Controversies (Fall 2014)
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