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Iconoclastic and fiercely rational, the European Enlightenment witnessed the birth of modern Western society and thought. Reason was sacrosanct, and for the first time religious belief and institutions were open to widespread criticism. In this groundbreaking book, Ziad Elmarsafy challenges this accepted wisdom to argue that religion was still hugely influential in the era. But the religion in question wasn't Christianity-it was Islam.
Charting the history of Qur'anic translations in Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries, Elmarsafy shows that a number of key Enlightenment figures-including Voltaire, Rousseau, Goethe, and Napoleon-drew both inspiration and ideas from the Qur'an. Controversially placing Islam at the heart of the European Enlightenment, this lucid and well argued work is a valuable window onto the interaction of East and West during this pivotal epoch in human history.
1 Translators and Translations of the Qur' &abar;n 1
2 Sale, Marracci, and the Representation of Islam 37
3 Translating Christ and Christianity 64
4 Voltaire: Muhammad and Moses, Opposition and Identification 81
5 Rousseau and the Language of the Legislator 121
6 Savary, Napoleon, and Egypt: Visions of Prophecy and Conquest 143
7 Goethe: Poetry and Prophecy, from Mahomet to World Literature 158
Index of Qur' &abar;nic Verses 268