Synopses & Reviews
In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the and#8216;Abbasid Empire (750and#8211;1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions.
At its zenith the and#8216;Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennisonand#8217;s examination of the politics, society, and culture of the and#8216;Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the and#8220;civilizedand#8221; values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennisonand#8217;s argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.
and#8220;. . .concise and comprehensive.and#8221;--Choice
About the Author
Amira K. Bennison is senior lecturer in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge.