The Non-Western Legacy: Bīrūnī as a Pioneer of Intercultural Thinking and Studies
Journal: Journal of Intercultural Communication & Interactions Research Volume 1 Issue 1 Year 2021 pp. 135 - 142
The complex histories of anthropology, comparative cultural studies, and intercultural communication are longer, more diverse, and considerably more international, than has been generally accounted for. This introductory overview offers a brief account of the achievements of Abu Rayhan al-Bīrūnī, an Iranian geographer, historian, social scientist, and polymath of the late tenth and early eleventh centuries CE. Evidence of his pioneering work in describing and comparing cultures is presented to show his understanding of intercultural studies and the foundations of what would become anthropology. Bīrūnī’s classic volume on Indian culture is worthy of consideration against modern anthropological and intercultural research literature, while it might inspire more in-depth research on Bīrūnī and on other Persian and Islamic scholars of his time and through the ages.