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The Qurʾan, Morality and Critical Reason

The Essential Muhammad Shahrur

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Muhammad Shahrur

Edited by Andreas Christmann

This book presents the work and ideas of the Syrian writer Muhammad Shahrur to the English-speaking world. Shahrur is at the moment the most innovative intellectual thinker in the Arab Middle East. Often described as the ‘Martin Luther of Islam,’ he offers a liberal, progressive reading of Islam that aims to counter the influences of religious fundamentalism and radical politics. Shahrur’s innovative interpretation of the Qur’an offers groundbreaking new ideas, based on his conviction that centuries of historical Islam, including scholarship in the traditional Islamic religious sciences, have obscured or even obliterated the Qur’an’s progressive and revolutionary message. That message is one that has endured through each period of human history in which Islam has existed, encouraging Muslims to apply the most contemporary perspective available to interpret the Qur’an’s meaning.

Arab Painting

Text and Image in Illustrated Arabic Manuscripts

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Anna Contadini

Arab painting, preserved mainly in manuscript illustrations of the 12th to 14th centuries, is here treated as an artistic corpus fully deserving of appreciation in its own terms, and not as a mere precursor to Persian painting. The book assembles papers by a distinguished list of scholars that illuminate the variety of material that survives in scientific as well as literary manuscripts. Because of the contexts in which the paintings appear, a major theoretical concern is, precisely, the relationship of painting to text. It rejects earlier scholarly habits of analysing paintings in isolation, and proposes the integration of text and image as a more satisfactory framework within which to elucidate the characteristics and functions of this impressive body of work.

The Capitulations and the Ottoman Legal System

Qadis, Consuls and Beratlıs in the 18th Century

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Maurits van den Boogert

Pre-modern Western sources generally claim that European mercantile communities in the Ottoman Empire enjoyed legal autonomy, and were thus effectively immune to Ottoman justice. At the same time, they report numerous disputes with Ottoman officials over jurisdiction (“avanias”), which seems to contradict this claim, the discrepancy being considered proof of the capriciousness of the Ottoman legal system. Modern studies of Ottoman-European relations in this period have tended uncritically to accept this interpretation, which is challenged in this book.

Encyclopaedia of the Qur'ān

Volume Four (P-Sh)

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Edited by Jane Dammen McAuliffe

Die Renaissance der Städte in Nordsyrien und Nordmesopotamien

Städtische Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Bedingungen in ar-Raqqa und Ḥ̣arrān von der Zeit der beduinischen Vorherrschaft bis zu den Seldschuken

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Stefan Heidemann

The period between 950 and 1150 A.D. is regarded as "turning point in the history of the Islamic Culture" from the Early Islamic to the Late Medieval civilization. What led to the urban decline in between and the later recovery? Ḥ̣arrān and al-Raqqa serve as paradigma for the development in Northern Syria and Northern Mesopotamia.
The collapse of the ʿAbbasid state left the region cornered between Buyids, Fatimids and Byzantines to the nomadic tribes not acquainted with urban culture. After 1086 A.D., measures undertaken by the Seljuqs in order to safeguard their hegemony led to a renaissance of cities inspite of permanent power struggles and the crusades. They based their rule on fortified places. The financing of the army led to the distribution of land as fiefs ( iqtaʿ) and subsequently to a dislodgement of nomads and a recultivation of former agricultural land. Cash money for the treasury was generated by skimming long distance trade; this in turn required public security on the roads. An analysis of the monetary circulation according to archaeological and literal evidence serves as measure for the economic recovery. A corpus of the coin production in al-Raqqa, ḥarrān and al-Ruha'/Edessa supplements the textual sources.

Islamische Philosophie und die Krise der Moderne

Das Verhältnis von Leo Strauss zu Alfarabi, Avicenna und Averroes

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Georges Tamer

This book fills the gap in the research of Leo Strauss (1899 - 1973) showing the influence of Alfarabi (870 - 950), Avicenna (980 - 1037) and Averroes (1126 - 1198) on his thought. The first part is historically-philologically oriented and contains neglected material where it presents a new approach to Leo Strauss's work. The second part discusses Strauss's reaction towards the crisis of modernity, stimulated by Islamic philosophy, as well as his nomic understanding of religion as the essential features of his political philosophy. Since Alfarabi is the Muslim Philosopher who had the greatest influence on Strauss's thought, his philosophy will also be analysed. This book offers the opportunity to discover an interesting aspect of the encounter of cultures, and contribute to a modern reception of Islamic philosophy.

Arabic Morphology and Phonology

Based on the Marāḥ al-arwāḥ by Aḥmad b. ‘Aī b. Mas‘ūd

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Joyce Åkesson

This volume presents a comprehensive study of Arabic morpho-phonology with its basics and intricacies, by making available a wide range of material from the 8th century A.D. until our days and exploring the main topics that arise.
It uses as its point of departure an unused source: the end of the 13th century Marāḥ al-arwāḥ by Aḥmad b. ‘alī Mas‘ūd, which is critically edited and provided with an introduction, an English translation and an extensive commentary. It offers an analysis of many grammatical theories, paradigms, qur'anical citations, verses of poetry, dialectal variants and Semitic words and concludes with various indices that make the enormous body of information easily accessible.

Islamic Mysticism

A Short History

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Alexander Knysh

The book provides a general survey of the history of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) since its inception up to the modern time. It combines chronological and personality-based approaches to the subject with a thematic discussion of principal Sufi notions and institutions. Sufism is examined from a variety of different perspectives: as a vibrant social institution, a specific form of artistic expression (mainly poetic), an ascetic and contemplative practice, and a distinctive intellectual tradition that derived its vitality from a dialogue with other strands of Islamic thought. The book emphasizes the wide variety of Sufism's interactions with the society and its institutions from an ascetic withdrawal from the world to an active involvement in its affairs by individual Sufi masters and organizations.

Islamic Mysticism by Knysh is a comprehensive survey of the interesting and fascinating world of Islamic Mysticism.

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Ian Macpherson and Angus MacKay

Ian Macpherson and Angus MacKay bring together versions in English of sixteen articles published in journals and festschrift volumes over the past two decades. The articles are revised and selected from those which deal with questions of love, religion and politics in the fifteenth-century Kingdom of Spain.
Ian Macpherson is a linguist and literary critic who aims to set his judgements in a historical and social context, and Angus MacKay a historian whose writings are informed by an awareness of the social context and literary production of the Spanish fifteenth century. The two authors have collaborated on many occasions, and the joint volume provides insights into the complex relationships between real life and imaginative writing in this turbulent period of Spanish history.

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Edited by Aafke M.I. van Oppenraaij

Aristotle's De Animalibus has been a very important source of zoological knowledge both for the ancient Greeks and for the medieval Arabs and Europeans. The work has twice been translated into Latin, once direct from the Greek by William of Moerbeke and once by Michael Scot from an existing Arabic translation. Of these, Scot's translation is the oldest. The De Animalibus is composed of three sections: 'History of Animals' (10 books), 'Parts of Animals' (4 books) and 'Generation of Animals' (5 books). The present volume contains the first critical edition of Scot's translation of the second section. The edition of the third section is already available (1992), the first section is in preparation.