Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery

Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery

by Bernard Lewis
     
 

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Our leading historian of Islam takes a revealing look at the Muslim-Christian conflict in the age of discovery. Bernard Lewis's balanced, insightful account of this pivotal era transcends the recent polemics about 1492, providing readers with a striking portrait of an age often obscured by the anger and complacency of today.

Overview

Our leading historian of Islam takes a revealing look at the Muslim-Christian conflict in the age of discovery. Bernard Lewis's balanced, insightful account of this pivotal era transcends the recent polemics about 1492, providing readers with a striking portrait of an age often obscured by the anger and complacency of today.

Editorial Reviews

Gilbert Taylor
Academe's reigning Orientalist examines 1492, and all that. Lewis last entered the library lists with his essay collection "Islam and the West" (1993), and this pithy lecture (delivered in 1993) again displays a coruscating mind at work. The focus is Columbus, Ferdinand, and Isabella's Catholic reconquest of the Moors and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Since the quincentennial of these occasions inspired "penitence and self-flagellation [by] those who could be identified with the perpetrators," Lewis offers a view on a continental scale of the Christian/Islamic rivalry and the case for appreciating the eventual expansion of Europe, while acknowledging its attendant evils. Lewis dislikes the modish view that misunderstanding causes geopolitical hostility; the two universalist religions understood each other only too well, as he writes about events of the millennium, until the Turks failed to take Vienna in 1683. Though this essay defends the globalization of Western concepts that began in 1492, its viewpoint rests on a sympathetic understanding of Islam, and its absorption of the expelled Jews, born of lifelong study. An erudite contribution to the issues of multiculturalism.
From the Publisher
"A fascinating and necessary text. A must-read for anyone interested in Europe at one of its most striking moments. The text balances out our understanding of Islam and its impact on Europe."—James Lusueur, University of La Verne

"The author avoids simplistic, good guy-bad guy interpretations; there are plenty of sins to go around."—The Dallas Morning News

"A sharply etched picture....Neither blindly celebratory nor unthinkingly self-flagellating, it offers a vivid interpretation of all three of the major events of 1492....Civilized, humane, [and] erudite over an enormous range."—Times Literary Supplement

"An elegant book."—Kirkus Reviews

"Lewis writes with unsurpassed erudition and grace."—The Washington Times

"Lewis's Western orientation and definitive knowledge of Eastern life and religion lead him to some unusual deductions that are well thought out and presented. This short course in the Age of Discovery should prove a useful tool."—Susan H. Woodcock, School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195090260
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/19/1995
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.61(d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Lewis is Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, at Princeton University. His many books include The Shaping of the Modern Middle East, Islam and the West, Race and Slavery in the Middle East, and The Muslim Discovery of Europe.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Princeton, New Jersey
Date of Birth:
May 31, 1916
Place of Birth:
London, England
Education:
B.A., University of London, 1936; Diplome des Etudes Semitiques, University of Paris, 1937; Ph.D., University of London,

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