A major effort of the new BYU Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts is the Graeco-Arabic Sciences and Philosophy series, which is overseen by its originator, Daniel C. Peterson, associate executive director of the Institute. Peterson has recently added Glen M. Cooper to his team as series editor. Cooper began college in his early teens and has earned a bachelors degree in physics from BYU and a doctorate in the history of Arabic medicine and astronomy from Columbia University; he has also studied classics, philosophy, and languages at BYU, Oxford, and the University of Tajikistan.
Coopers diverse studies have uniquely prepared him to direct two translation projects now under way. The first project is a new edition and translation of the complete works of Moses Maimonides. This project, which will eventually comprise about 12 volumes, is a groundbreaking effort to provide a complete reference to the medical writings of Maimonides, including Arabic-Hebrew critical texts, English translations, notes, glossaries of me dical terms, early Latin translations of the same text (where available), and Arabic-Latin glossaries. Maimonides, a medieval Jewish physician and philosopher writing in Judaeo-Arabic (Arabic written in Hebrew characters), composed influential medical, philosophical, and religious treatises. His works are an important contribution to the development of science, which led to the rise of modern thought.
Cooper is also preparing his own series of translations of certain treatises of Galen, which were influential with both Greek and Arabic scientists. Galen, a second-century Greek physician and philosopher, wrote about astrological medicine (e.g., he explained the occurrence of periodic fevers by the phases of the moon), employing a remarkably modern scientific method. Neither the Arabic nor the English translations of these works have ever been published. Cooper, one of the few Graeco-Arabists in the world, is editing three volumes of these Galenic translations, which will also include extensive lexical aids.
As series editor, Cooper oversees an international advisory board of leading scholars who review the translations and publications of this initiative for accuracy. Regarding his work with the various projects, Cooper said, In this effort to make neglected Arabic texts accessible, we are in a position to set the standards of quality for an entire international field. Because of this project, for generations to come, scholars the world over will associate the name of Brigham Young University with an unsurpassed commitment to scholarly and publishing excellence and cross-cultural understanding. His academic training and work with ancient Graeco-Arabic texts are enhancing the scholastic prestige of the Institute.