W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholars

In order to support the teaching and research in medieval studies at the University of Toronto the Centre for Medieval Studies (CMS) and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) established in 2010 a special visitorship for distinguished scholars in medieval studies.

Current CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visitors

Charles Burnett

DSC_0352Charles 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.

On Friday 10 February 2017 (Alumni Hall, Rm 100), Prof. Charles Burnett will give a lecture entitled “Arabica Veritas. Europeans’ Search for ‘Truth’ in Arabic Scientific and Philosophical Literature of the Middle Ages.”

Past Distinguished Visitors


Felix Heinzer (January-April 2015)


Catherine Conybeare (September-December 2014)

Michael Ryan (January-April 2014)

Christopher Martin (September-December 2013)

Stella Panayotova (January-April 2013)

Henrietta Leyser (January-April 2012)

John Marenbon (September-December 2010)