Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800

Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800

by Khaled El-Rouayheb
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226729893

ISBN-13: 9780226729893

Pub. Date: 04/15/2009

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Attitudes toward male homosexuality in the premodern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as inconsistent. On the one hand, Arabic love poetry, biographical works, and bawdy satires suggest that homosexuality was a visible and tolerated part of Arab-Islamic elite culture before the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Islam supposedly considers homosexuality

Overview

Attitudes toward male homosexuality in the premodern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as inconsistent. On the one hand, Arabic love poetry, biographical works, and bawdy satires suggest that homosexuality was a visible and tolerated part of Arab-Islamic elite culture before the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Islam supposedly considers homosexuality an abomination and prescribes severe punishment for it.

In Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500–1800, Khaled El-Rouayheb shows that this apparent paradox is based on the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a timeless, self-evident fact to which a particular culture reacts with some degree of tolerance or intolerance. Drawing on poetry, belles lettres, biographical literature, medicine, physiognomy, dream interpretation, and Islamic legal, mystical, and homiletic texts, he shows that the culture of the period lacked the concept of homosexuality. Instead, paramount importance was given to distinctions that are not captured by that term—between active and passive sexual roles, between passionate infatuation and lust, and between penetrative and nonpenetrative intercourse.
 
The first book-length treatment on the perceptions and evaluations of male homoeroticism in premodern Arab-Islamic culture, this book will become a welcome and frequently referred to addition to the bookshelves of readers interested in the history of sexuality, Islamic history, Arabic literature, gay and lesbian studies, and the history of ideas.  
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226729893
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments....................ix
Introduction....................1
Chapter One: Pederasts and Pathics....................13
Chapter Two: Aesthetes....................53
Chapter Three: Sodomites....................111
Conclusion....................153
Notes....................163
Bibliography....................191
Index....................205

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