The Islamic Enlightenment

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason

Non-Fiction, History & Politics, Middle Eastern History
Paperback Published on: 22/02/2018
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Shortlisted for The Orwell Prize 2018

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2017

'This is an important, beautifully written book that offers a powerful corrective to the motion that Islam contains an inbuilt prejudice against modernity.' - The Sunday Times

The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise, reform and adapt. But, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has in fact been transformed by modern ideals and practices, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.

Who were the scholars and scientists, writers and politicians that brought about these remarkable changes? And why is their legacy now under threat?

Beginning with the dramatic collision of East and West following Napoleon's arrival in Egypt, and taking us through 200 tumultuous years of Middle Eastern history, Christopher de Bellaigue, introduces us to key figures and reformers; from Egypt's visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals like Iran's first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn and the writer Ibrahim Sinasi, who transformed Ottoman Turkey's language and literature.

Author of the masterful Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup, journalist Christopher de Bellaigue brings an almost unrivalled insight into this acclaimed re-examination of Islamic culture. ‘This book is an enlightenment in itself,’ said the Times, ‘and a salient one in this age when everyone seems to feel entitled to a firm opinion about Islam and Muslims.’

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780099578703
  • Number of pages: 448
  • Weight: 332g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 27 mm

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