Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam

The Cultural Revival during the Buyid Age

Under the enlightened rule of the Buyid dynasty (945-1055 A.D.) the Islamic world witnessed an unequalled cultural renaissance. This book is an investigation into the nature of the environment in which the cultural transformation took place and into the cultural elite who were its bearers. After an extensive introductory section setting the stage, the book deals with the main schools and circles and with the outstanding individual representatives of this renaissance.
The main expression of this renaissance was a philosophical humanism that embraced the scientific and philosophical heritage of Classical Antiquity as a cultural and educational ideal. Along with this philosophical humanism, a literary humanism was cultivated by litterateurs, poets, and government secretaries. This renaissance was marked by a powerful assertion of individualism in the domains of literary creativity and political action. It thrived in a remarkably cosmopolitan atmosphere — Baghdad, the center of the ‘Abbāsid empire and of Buyid rule.

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'...a colourful picture of the life of an interesting group of people.'
W. Montgomery Watt, Middle East Journal, 1987.
'...a wealth of detailed information...'
Ira M. Lapidus, American Historical Review.
'...rendra bien des services à tous ceux qui s'intéressent à ce 'siècle buyide'.'
Abdallah Cheikh Moussa, Studia Islamica, 1991.
'...a fascinating book, full of stimulating views and of a wide erudition.'
Remke Kruk, Bibliotheca Orientalis, 1988.
students and scholars of Islamic studies.
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