Charles Burnett, MA, PhD, LGSM is Professor of the History of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and Co-Director of the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, and Fellow of the International Society for the History of Science. He is leader of the Humanities in the European Research Area project on Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (EOS). His research centres on the transmission of texts, techniques and artefacts from the Arab world to the West, especially in the Middle Ages. He has documented this transmission by editing and translating several texts that were first translated from Arabic into Latin, and also by describing the historical and cultural context of these translations. Throughout his research and his publications he has aimed to document the extent to which Arabic authorities and texts translated from Arabic have shaped European learning, in the universities, in medical schools and in esoteric circles. Among his books are The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England (1997), Arabic into Latin in the Middle Ages: The Translators and their Intellectual and Social Context (2009) and Numerals and Arithmetic in the Middle Ages (2010). Other interests include Jesuit education in Japan in the late sixteenth century, the use of Japanese themes in Latin drama in Europe in the seventeenth century and the use of music in therapy and in the Christian mission.
During his time as the Bennett Distinguished Visitor, Charles Burnett has participated enthusiastically in the life of both PIMS and CMS. He gave a lecture on 10 February 2017, entitled “Arabica Veritas. Europeans’ Search for ‘Truth’ in Arabic Scientific and Philosophical Literature of the Middle Ages,” and another one, as part of the “History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminars,” on the “Contribution of the Phoenicians to Medieval and Renaissance Medicine, on 16 March 2017. He also played the viola and the recorder in a recital along with other amateur musicians he gathered together, on 12 April 2017.