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Eric Chaney (University of Oxford): "Religion and the Rise and Fall of Islamic Science"

14 Nov
kbs - economics seminar - main
eric chaney
Part of Research Seminars in Economics

Every week, the Economics Group of King's Business School organises research seminars in economics. Bi-weekly research seminars in economics are organised by the Economics Group of King's Business School together with economists at the Department of Political Economy and Department of International Development. For more information on our activities visit Economics at King's.

This week we welcome Eric Chaney (University of Oxford).

"Religion and the Rise and Fall of Islamic Science"

The rise and subsequent decline of scientific output in the medieval Islamic world are documented and linked to institutional changes. The expansion of secular bureaucratic institutions led to the rise of scientific production whereas their contraction - and the concomitant rise in the political power of religious leaders - explains the decline. Newly empowered religious elites altered the educational framework to discourage the unrestricted study of science and other topics that undermined their control over beliefs. The paper concludes that secular state capacity can help constrain rent-seeking religious leaders.

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