Ideas, Images, and Methods of Portrayal

Insights into Classical Arabic Literature and Islam


This volume deals with the genesis of selected classical Arabic texts as the products of different milieus, and the implications which these texts had for Islamic societies in medieval times.
It explores the concepts and images which Muslim scholars from the 8th to the 14th century presented in their writings and, in particular, ponders the ways in which these authors used specific methods of portrayal—either overtly or more subtly—to advance their ideas.
The fresh theoretical and methodological approaches applied in this book facilitate the understanding of how medieval Muslim writers expressed their views and, more importantly, why they expressed them in the way they did. This helps disclose, for example, how the images of historically or religiously significant figures in Arabic-Islamic culture have been developed and shaped in the process of their "literarization."

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Sebastian Günther, Ph.D. (1989) in Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, is an Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Toronto, Canada. He has published extensively on the literary and intellectual heritage of Islam, including Quellenuntersuchungen zu den Maqātil aṭ-Ṭālibiyyīn (Olms, 1991).
All those interested in Classical Arabic literature and the intellectual history of Islam, including such areas as religion, history, philosophy, ethics, and education; as well as those interested in the development of religion, culture, literatures, and societies in the Arabic Middle East in general.
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