The Medieval Islamic Hospital: Medicine, Religion and Charity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

December 10, 2018
The Medieval Islamic Hospital: Medicine, Religion and Charity

The first monograph on the history of Islamic hospitals, this volume focuses on the under-examined Egyptian and Levantine institutions of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. By the twelfth century, hospitals serving the sick and the poor could be found in nearly every Islamic city. Ahmed Ragab traces the varying origins and development of these institutions, locating them in their urban environments and linking them to charity networks and patrons' political projects. Following the paths of patients inside hospital wards, he investigates who they were and what kinds of experiences they had. The Medieval Islamic Hospital explores the medical networks surrounding early hospitals and sheds light on the particular brand of practice-oriented medicine they helped to develop. Providing a detailed picture of the effect of religion on medieval medicine, it will be essential reading for those interested in history of medicine, history of Islamic sciences, or history of the Mediterranean.

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Ahmed Ragab, Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion at HDS, discusses his recent publication with three respondents.


The three respondents will be: Shigehisa Kuriyama, Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History, Professor and Chair of the Dept. of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Professor in the Dept. of History of Science at Harvard University; Roy Mottahadeh, Gurney Professor of Islamic History at Harvard University; and Charles Stang, Professor of Early Christian Thought at HDS.


This talk took place on December 3, 2015. Learn more about Harvard Divinity School and its mission to illuminate, engage, and serve at