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Edited by Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth

al-Radd al-jamīl attributed to al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) is the most extensive and detailed refutation of the divinity of Jesus by a Muslim author in the classical period of Islam. Since the discovery of the manuscript in the 1930’s scholars have debated whether the great Muslim theologian al-Ghazālī was really the author.

This is a new critical edition of the Arabic text and the first complete English translation. The introduction situates this work in the history of Muslim anti-Christian polemical writing. Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth argue that this refutation comes from an admirer of al-Ghazālī who sought to advance some of his key ideas for an Egyptian audience.

Sociology of Shiʿite Islam

Collected Essays

Saïd Amir Arjomand

Sociology of Shiʿite Islam is a comprehensive study of the development of Shiʿism. In these collected essays Arjomand has persistently developed a Weberian theoretical framework for the analysis of Shiʿism, from its sectarian formation in the eighth century through the establishment of the Safavid empire in the sixteenth century, to the Islamic revolution in Iran in the twentieth century. The bearers or cultural carriers of Shiʿite Islam first emerged as a sectarian elite, then a hierocracy and finally a theocracy. Imamate, Occultation and the theodicy of martyrdom are identified as the main components of the Shiʿism as a world religion. These studies highlight revolutionary impulses embedded in the belief in the advent of the hidden Imam, and the impact of Shiʿite political ethics on the authority structure of pre-modern Iran and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

European Evangelicals in Egypt (1900-1956)

Cultural Entanglements and Missionary Spaces

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Samir Boulos

Missionary institutions were social spaces of closest encounters between Europeans and various segments of the Egyptian society, during the period of British colonialism. In European Evangelicals in Egypt (1900-1956) Samir Boulos develops a theory of cultural exchange that is based on the examination of interactions, experiences and discourses in the context of missionary institutions.

Drawing upon oral history interviews as well as rich Egyptian, British and German archival sources, a multifaceted perspective is offered, revealing the complexity and dynamics of mission encounters. Focusing on the everyday life in missionary institutions, experiences of former Egyptian missionary students, local employees, as well as of European missionaries, Samir Boulos explores mutual transformation processes particularly on the individual but also on institutional and social level.

The Emergence of Early Sufi Piety and Sunnī Scholasticism

ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mubārak and the Formation of Sunnī Identity in the Second Islamic Century

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Feryal Salem

In the figure of ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mubārak (118–181/736–797), we find a paragon of the fields of ḥadīth, zuhd, and jihād, as attested to by the large number of references to him in the classical Islamic texts. His superior rank as a ḥadīth transmitter earned him the title “commander of the faithful” in ḥadīth. He contributed to Islamic law at its early phases of development, practiced jihād, composed poetry, and participated in various theological discussions. In addition, Ibn al-Mubārak was a pioneer in writing on piety and was later regarded by many mystics as one of the earliest figures of Sufism. Ibn al-Mubārak’s position during the formative period of Islamic thought illustrates the unique evolution of zuhd, ḥadīth, and jihād; these form a junction in the biography of Ibn al-Mubārak in a way that distinctively illuminates the second/eighth-century dynamics of nascent Sunnī identity. Furthermore, Ibn al-Mubārak’s status as a fighter and pious figure of the Late Antique period reveals a great deal about the complex relationship between the early Muslim community and the religiously diverse setting which it inhabited. This critical and comprehensive monograph of ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mubārak situates him within the larger context of the social and religious milieu of Late Antiquity. It explores the formation of Sunnī identity in the second Islamic century and demonstrates the way in which it manifested itself through networks of pious scholars who defined, preserved, and passed on what they understood to be normative Islamic practice and beliefs from one generation of Muslim intellectuals to another.

Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness

Collected Studies in Three Volumes, Volume 3

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Patricia Crone

Edited by Hanna Siurua

Patricia Crone's Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians.

The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters
The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands

The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters

Collected Studies in Three Volumes, Volume 1

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Patricia Crone

Edited by Hanna Siurua

Patricia Crone's Collected Studies in Three Volumes brings together a number of her published, unpublished, and revised writings on Near Eastern and Islamic history, arranged around three distinct but interconnected themes. Volume 1, The Qurʾānic Pagans and Related Matters, pursues the reconstruction of the religious environment in which Islam arose and develops an intertextual approach to studying the Qurʾānic religious milieu. Volume 2, The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands, examines the reception of pre-Islamic legacies in Islam, above all that of the Iranians. Volume 3, Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness, places the rise of Islam in the context of the ancient Near East and investigates sceptical and subversive ideas in the Islamic world.

The Iranian Reception of Islam: The Non-Traditionalist Strands
Islam, the Ancient Near East and Varieties of Godlessness

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Rustam Shukurov

In The Byzantine Turks, 1204–1461 Rustam Shukurov offers an account of the Turkic minority in Late Byzantium including the Nicaean, Palaiologan, and Grand Komnenian empires. The demography of the Byzantine Turks and the legal and cultural aspects of their entrance into Greek society are discussed in detail. Greek and Turkish bilingualism of Byzantine Turks and Tourkophonia among Greeks were distinctive features of Byzantine society of the time. Basing his arguments upon linguistic, social, and cultural evidence found in a wide range of Greek, Latin, and Oriental sources, Rustam Shukurov convincingly demonstrates how Oriental influences on Byzantine life led to crucial transformations in Byzantine mentality, culture, and political life. The study is supplemented with an etymological lexicon of Oriental names and words in Byzantine Greek.

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Racha el Omari

This is the first comprehensive monograph on the theology of Abū l-Qāsim al-Kaʿbī al-Balkhī (d. 319/931), a leading Muʿtazilī who flourished at the end of the Baghdādī school and at the beginning of the scholastic phase of Muʿtazilī history. The study of al-Kaʿbī’s theology has been hindered by historiographical barriers: the fragmentary nature of extant articles, and the difficulties of reconstructing their contexts. This work investigates the twofold challenge of recovering al-Kaʿbī’s theology on the basis of a source-critical reconstruction of major extant fragments. One result of this study positions al-Kaʿbī’s theology as influenced less by the precepts of a Baghdādī school, and guided more by his individual views and affinity for earlier independent Muʿtazilī positions. Another result not only corroborates al-Kaʿbī’s previously noted contributions in epistemology and cosmology, but also argues for their centrality to his theology as a whole.

The Khōjā of Tanzania

Discontinuities of a Postcolonial Religious Identity

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Iqbal Akhtar

The Khōjā of Tanzania, Discontinuities of a Postcolonial Religious Identity attempts to reconstruct the development of Khōjā religious identity from their arrival to the Swahili coast in the late 18th century until the turn of the 21st century. This multidisciplinary study incorporates Gujarati, Kacchī, Swahili, and Arabic sources to examine the formation of an Afro-Asian Islamic identity (jamatī) from their initial Indic caste identity (jñāti) towards an emergent Near Eastern imaged Islamic nation (ummatī) through four disciplinary approaches: historiography, politics, linguistics, and ethnology. Over the past two centuries, rapid transitions and discontinuities have produced the profound tensions which have resulted from the willful amnesia of their pre-Islamic Indic civilizational past for an ideological and politicized ‘Islamic’ present. This study aims to document, theorize, and engage this theological transformation of modern Khōjā religious identities as expressed through dimensions of power, language, space, and the body.

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Edited by Christian Lange

Islam is often seen as a religious tradition in which hell does not play a particularly prominent role. This volume challenges this hackneyed view. Locating Hell in Islamic Traditions is the first book-length analytic study of the Muslim hell. It maps out a broad spectrum of Islamic attitudes toward hell, from the Quranic vision(s) of hell to the pious cultivation of the fear of the afterlife, theological speculations, metaphorical and psychological understandings, and the modern transformations of hell.

Contributors: Frederick Colby, Daniel de Smet, Christiane Gruber, Jon Hoover, Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Christian Lange, Christopher Melchert, Simon O’Meara, Samuela Pagani, Tommaso Tesei, Roberto Tottoli, Wim Raven, and Richard van Leeuwen.