Welcome to the website of our collaborative research project Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (EOS). This major, joint research entreprise is funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) under the Cultural Encounters scheme. It has been awarded nearly €1m over three years starting September 2013.
The project aims to document the scholarly encounter with the Orient between 1580 and 1800. It will describe how the exchange of knowledge and of ideas between Europe and the Orient was organised and structured. It will follow and compare the conceptual transformations which this encounter has initiated in Biblical studies, the study of religions, in the teaching and learning of Arabic and other Oriental languages, in literature and poetry, and in historical and anthropological thinking. Hence it will document the change from a religious to a cultural perspective on Oriental societies.
The project is funding research projects and a series of conferences, exhibitions and workshops over the three-year period. On July 1-2 2016 we are celebrating the drawing to an end of our project with an international conference at the University of Kent.
In a number of case studies, conferences, and exhibitions, this project is exploring the early modern scholarly European encounter with the Orient. It describes the various incentives for this encounter and it documents the exchange of knowledge, ideas, values and material objects which it stimulated. Finally, it explores the various transformations which this encounter initiated in different fields of learning.
The project is led by the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe (CHASE) at the Warburg Institute, London, and it involves six academic and a number of non-academic partners in four European countries.
The objectives of of our collaborative research project are pursued in four complementary subject areas: The Learning of Oriental Languages - Encounters with Islam and the Oriental Church - The Bible as a Place of Cultural Encounters between Europe and the Orient - Encounters with Arabic Literature and Poetry.
At the heart of our collaborative research project is a database, mapping the learning and teaching of Arabic in early modern Europe. Developed together with the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe this digital map will locate all the places in early modern Europe were Arabic was taught, either privately or at an institution of learning.