The global history of ideas includes a handful of names whose contributions have stood the test of time: among those most celebrated is the twelfth century Muslim polymath Abu 'l-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd (1126-1198), known to the Latin West as ‘Averroes’.
Ibn Rushd was a master of philosophy, theology, law and jurisprudence, astronomy, geography, mathematics, medicine, physics and psychology. He is seen as a founding father of secular thought in Western Europe, where his school of philosophy is known as Averroism.
In the Muslim world, he is known largely for his defence of philosophy from theological attacks, particularly by scholastic theologian al-Ghazali (1058-1111). Today, all over the world, streets, statues and postage-stamps commemorate the life and works of one of the most important philosophers of all time.
The Muslim Institute's series of lectures, in honour of Ibn Rushd, which are intended to explore the contemporary relevance of Islam's intellectual history are delivered annually in early summer by notable academics and thinkers.