Preparing for a Study Conference on June 2 to Celebrate Duncan Black Macdonald

In preparation for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Duncan Black Macdonald by the Seminary on June 2,Prof. Yahya Michotspent the 2012 winter break in Cairo in the footsteps of his famous predecessor. During his 1908 sabbatical in Egypt,Macdonald walkedaround Cairo and took many photographs. One century later,Michot was able to take new shots of more than half of the same locations. The comparison between these views of Cairo, old and new, offers amazing contrasts.

Macdonald came to teach at Hartford Theological Seminary in 1893 and remained in Hartford until his death in 1943. Macdonald taught Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Seminary and was a pioneer in interfaith dialogue. The Seminary named its internationally known Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations after Duncan Black Macdonald.

Study Conference

The Seminary will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of ProfessorMacdonald on Sunday, June 2, 2013 with a special study conference.

Speaking will be:

  • Jane Smith, Professor Emeritus at the Seminary and former Co-Director of the Macdonald Center, on Macdonald?s career as a Christian Orientalist
  • Yahya Michot, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Seminary and editor of The Muslim World journal, on Macdonald?s 1908 sabbatical in Egypt, with slides, and his ?Aspects of Islam.?
  • Muhsin al-Musawi, Professor of Arabic Literature at Columbia University, on Macdonald?s studies of the One Thousand and One Nights, commonly known as the Arabian Nights
  • Kenneth Garden, Assistant Professor of Religion at Tufts University, on Macdonald?s studies of the medieval Muslim religious scholar Abu Hamid al-Ghaz‰l”
  • Yehezkel Landau, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations at Hartford Seminary, on Macdonald?s two books examining ?The Hebrew Philosophical Genius? and ?The Hebrew Literary Genius”

The conference also will feature an exhibit of documents from the Seminary?s archives and a display of books that Macdonald wrote. Seminary President Heidi Hadsell will moderate the conference.

A collection of Macdonald?s important writings will be available on the Seminary website.

Further details and registration information will be posted as they are available. If you would like to receive further information, please write to

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