As a result of the 2003 Conference, Organising Knowledge: Encyclopaedic Activities in the Pre-Eighteenth Century Muslim World , the Institute has created its first publication, Organising Knowledge: Encyclopeadic Activities in the Pre-Eighteenth Century World, edited by Professor Gerhard Endress and published as a volume of the Brill publication series, Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science, Texts and Studies.
The volume is based on the proceedings of a colloquium held at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, The Aga Khan University (International) in the United Kingdom ( London , November 14-16, 2003).
The contributions in this volume offer the first comprehensive effort to describe and analyse the collection, classification, presentation and methodology of information in the knowledge society of medieval Islam in the disciplines of religious and legal learning as well as the rational sciences of Hellenistic origin - philosophy, mathematical and medicinal sciences.
The volume begins with a general discussion of the concept of encyclopaedia. Successive chapters explore the bases of authority in the institutions of religion and law; biographical literature and handbooks of law; compendia of scientific and philosophical learning based on Iranian and Greek sources; and the more specialised expositions of mathematics and philosophy. The special character of Muslim institutions, their teaching traditions and syllabi is also put into perspective.
This is a reference work for the principal genres of 'encyclopaedic' outlines and manuals - biography, legal handbooks, historiography of knowledge transmission, cosmography, and the philosophical sciences - and a major contribution to the literary and intellectual history of scholarly writing in the pre-modern Islamic world.