Licit Magic: The Life and Letters of al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/995) Maurice A. Pomerantz explores the biography and literary output of a major tenth-century Muslim statesman, literary patron, and intellectual. His nearly two-decade reign as vizier on behalf of two Buyid amirs was an important period for the flowering of Arabic letters,
Muʿtazilī theology and
Shīʿism in Western Iran. Making use of Ibn ʿAbbād’s large corpus of letters (
rasāʾil), Pomerantz explores the role that eloquence played in the conduct of administration, the maintenance of social networks of elites, and persuasion.
Licit Magic argues that the eloquent expression that Ibn ʿAbbād displayed in his letters was central to his exercise of power.
This volume brings together studies that explore the richness of the Arabic literary tradition and of Islamic intellectual life, from the beginnings of Islam to the present. The contributors cover an unusually wide range of subjects, including such topics as guile in the Quran, marriage in Islamic law, early esoterica, commentaries on al-Ḥarīrī’s
Maqamāt, Hellenistic philosophy in Arabic, medieval music and song, scurrilous poetry, Arabic rhetoric, cursing, the modern social and legal history of the Middle East, al-Kharrat’s modernist project, and contemporary Islamic thought and responses to it.
The volume’s range reflects the enormous breadth of Everett Rowson’s scholarship and his impact over a lifetime of publishing, editing, teaching, and mentoring in the many fields that constitute the Arabic humanities and Islamic thought.
Contributors: Ali Humayun Akhtar, Thomas Bauer, Hans Hinrich Biesterfeldt, Kevin van Bladel, Marilyn Booth, Michael Cooperson, Kenneth M. Cuno, Geert Jan van Gelder, Hala Halim, Lara Harb, David Hollenberg, Matthew L. Keegan, David Larsen, Joseph E. Lowry, Zainab Mahmood, Jon McGinnis, Jeannie Miller, John Nawas, Bilal Orfali, Alex Popovkin, Dwight F. Reynolds, Susan A. Spectorsky, Tara Stephan, Adam Talib, Sarra Tlili, Shawkat M. Toorawa, James Toth, Mark S. Wagner.