BETWEEN NATIONALISM AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: AN EXAMINATION OF MODERN SCHOLARSHIP ON THE 'ABBĀSID CIVIL WAR AND THE REIGN OF AL-MA'MŪN

in Medieval Encounters
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Abstract

This article attempts to examine the modern historical constructions of the 'Abbāsid Civil War, and the reign of the caliph al-Ma'mūn in the early ninth century C.E. This article argues that concepts such as nationalism, sectarianism, historical positivism, center-periphery relations, realpolitik and political pragmatism have created questionable categories into which this era is molded. However, such categories which draw their legitimacy from orientalist, nationalist and social-scientistic discourses reflect, despite their contributions to our knowledge and understanding, more accurately current models than the early Islamic era's own issues. This article hopes then to address the thorny issues of methodological consciousness and identity of the observer.

BETWEEN NATIONALISM AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: AN EXAMINATION OF MODERN SCHOLARSHIP ON THE 'ABBĀSID CIVIL WAR AND THE REIGN OF AL-MA'MŪN

in Medieval Encounters

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