Islam and the West by Bernard Lewis

By Bernard Lewis

Hailed within the manhattan instances booklet assessment as "the doyen of center japanese studies," Bernard Lewis has been for part a century one of many West's most appropriate students of Islamic heritage and tradition, the writer of over dozen books, such a lot particularly The Arabs in History, The Emergence of recent Turkey, The Political Language of Islam, and The Muslim Discovery of Europe. Eminent French historian Robert Mantran has written of Lewis's paintings: "How may perhaps one face up to being drawn to the books of an writer who opens for you the doorways of an unknown or misunderstood universe, who leads you inside to its innermost domain names: faith, methods of pondering, conceptions of strength, culture--an writer who upsets notions too usually fastened, incorrect, or partisan."

In Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis brings jointly in a single quantity 11 essays that certainly open doorways to the innermost domain names of Islam. Lewis levels in every single place in those essays. He comprises lengthy items, resembling his pill historical past of the interaction--in struggle and peace, in trade and culture--between Europe and its Islamic pals, and shorter ones, comparable to his deft learn of the Arabic note watan and what its linguistic background finds in regards to the advent of the belief of patriotism from the West. Lewis bargains a revealing examine Edward Gibbon's portrait of Muhammad in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (unlike past writers, Gibbon observed the increase of Islam no longer as whatever separate and remoted, nor as a regrettable aberration from the onward march of the church, yet easily as part of human history); he deals a devastating critique of Edward Said's debatable ebook, Orientalism; and he supplies an account of the impediments to translating from vintage Arabic to different languages (the outdated dictionaries, for one, are filled with scribal error, misreadings, fake analogies, and etymological deductions that pay little consciousness to the evolution of the language). And he concludes with an astute remark at the Islamic international this day, interpreting revivalism, fundamentalism, the function of the Shi'a, and the bigger query of non secular co-existence among Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

A matchless consultant to the history of center East conflicts this day, Islam and the West offers the pro reflections of an eminent authority on some of the most interesting and little understood areas within the world.

Reviews:

"Islam and the West is a well-written and erudite publication, affording many very important insights at the background of cultural interplay among Europe and the center East.--Diplomatic History

"Demonstrate[s] breadth and intensity of scholarship and a capability to speak with either experts and nonspecialists."--Journal of Ecumenical Studies

"A worthwhile choice of essays and themes for introductory graduate seminars on center East politics."--Sandra Halperin, college of Pittsburgh

"Lewis's scholarship is prodigious....He avoids dogmatic positions himself and sees dogma as anything to be analyzed. it's this feeling of nuance, of historic atmosphere, of honesty to texts, that informs the essays in Islam and the West."--The long island evaluate of Books

"Lewis speaks with authority, in prose marked by means of lucidity, splendor, wit and force....A not easy publication that merits a large audience....Lewis writes with nice strength and clarity."--New York Newsday

"Brilliant...weaves a unbroken internet among prior and current. In selection of striking studying and diversity Mr. Lewis takes us, as he by myself between today's historians and interpreters of Islam can, from the early encoutners of Christendom and Islam to today's Islamic dilemmas. To learn Mr. Lewis on Europe's obsession with the Ottoman Turks, the raging conflict among secularism and fundamentalism within the Muslim global, or the trouble of learning different peoples' histories is to be taken via a treacherous terrain by means of the good and so much reassuring of publications. you're within the palms of the Islamic world's top-rated residing historian. Of that world's ordeal he writes with the best care and authority and no small degree of sympathy."--Fouad Ajami, writing within the Wall road Journal

"Mr. Lewis contrasts the Christian and Islamic civilizations and explains their interplay in struggle and peace, trade and culture....Islam and the West is a primer for better knowing of the international locations engaged in cold and warm wars that, without delay or in a roundabout way, are rooted in religion."--The big apple Times

"A best Islamicist, notwithstanding occasionally a arguable one, Lewis right here gathers a few eleven essays that search to 'open doorways to the innermost domain names of Islam.' There are lengthy items on Gibbon, Edward Said's Orientalism, the trickiness of translating Arabic, and at the 'shi'a in Islamic history,' between different matters. because the identify indicates, the book's major thrust is one the encounter--all too grequently the clash--between Europe and the center East."--Washington Post

"Provocative"--Chicago Tribune

"Even while one disagrees with Lewis, he's really worth interpreting for the adventure and erudition of his writing, and the clean lucidity of his style."--San Francisco Chronicle

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After the withdrawal from Vienna and the military and political defeats that followed it, the new relationship became clear to both sides. Europe still had a Turkish problem, because Turkey remained an important factor in the European balance of power, but it was now the problem of Turkish weakness, not of Turkish strength. And Islam, which had long ceased to be regarded by the Christian churches as a serious religious adversary, now ceased to be even a serious military threat. The change was clear both in the terms of the treaty which ended the war and in the procedures by which it was negotiated.

For the European, India and China were names, with a few, almost forgotten, remnants of classical lore and medieval travelers' tales attached to them. If the Europeans knew little about India and China, the Indians and Chinese knew nothing about Europe. They could therefore meet in a relatively openminded way. The European and the Muslim, in contrast, knew—or thought they knew—a great deal about each other. They had been neighbors since the very beginnings of Islam in the seventh century—neighbors in constant contact and communication, often as rivals, sometimes as enemies, and with attitudes toward each other formed and confirmed by centuries of experience and, for the Europeans, of fear.

The extraterritorial immunities bestowed on them—as an act of condescension—by Muslim rulers made it easier for them to exploit and, in time, to dominate the open markets of the Islamic world. For a while, these changes were still hidden from the sight of Christians and Muslims alike by the still imposing panoply of Ottoman military power. After the withdrawal from Vienna and the military and political defeats that followed it, the new relationship became clear to both sides. Europe still had a Turkish problem, because Turkey remained an important factor in the European balance of power, but it was now the problem of Turkish weakness, not of Turkish strength.

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