Europe and the Islamic World: A History

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"This penetrating and nuanced study by three French scholars should finally lay to rest simplistic and superficial notions about an age-old 'clash of civilizations' between the Islamic and Western worlds. For all the ways that clerics on opposite sides tried to uphold Manichaean distinctions between believers and infidels, the real story is a much more complex one of shared human values, vigorous commercial trading, invented or reinvented traditions, and mutual cultural penetration within a mosaic of political rivalries, with religious rhetoric used both to legitimize power and mobilize resistance. This important book, which sets the scene for urgent contemporary issues, should be necessary reading for anyone seriously interested in global affairs."—Malise Ruthven, author of Islam in the World

"Europe and the Islamic World makes for an interesting and sometimes provocative volume. In this erudite book, three distinguished scholars give their unique perspectives on Muslim-European political encounters, cultural exchanges, representations, and interactions. Their argument is that these encounters have been many, diverse, and ongoing. Europe and the Islamic World informs—and large parts of it entertain."—Virginia H. Aksan, author of Ottomans and Europeans: Contacts and Conflicts

"Many Americans and Europeans take it for granted that the West and Islam are at war and always have been. Tolan, Veinstein, and Laurens argue that we are part of the same civilization, for all the violence and conflict over the centuries. Europe and the Islamic World is a book of great learning and great passion."—Mark Gregory Pegg, author of The Corruption of Angels: The Great Inquisition of 1245-1246

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Editorial Reviews

Literary Review
[T]his is serious history and, as such, seriously worthwhile.
— Robert Irwin
Literary Review - Robert Irwin
[T]his is serious history and, as such, seriously worthwhile.
History Today - Jonathan Harris
[Europe and the Islamic World] is an important contribution to an ever more urgent debate. By providing a wealth of inconvenient detail that fails to fit in to the simplistic stereotypes, it challenges the very notion that humanity can be divided into separate 'civilisations', however bitter at times the conflict between them.
The comprehensive coverage of the subject matter makes this work the new standard in the field.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

"[T]his is serious history and, as such, seriously worthwhile."—Robert Irwin, Literary Review

"[Europe and the Islamic World] is an important contribution to an ever more urgent debate. By providing a wealth of inconvenient detail that fails to fit in to the simplistic stereotypes, it challenges the very notion that humanity can be divided into separate 'civilisations', however bitter at times the conflict between them."—Jonathan Harris, History Today

"The comprehensive coverage of the subject matter makes this work the new standard in the field."—

"Europe and the Islamic World is a major antidote of this dangerous myopic worldview, offering a critical and balanced assessment of a historic encounter marked not only by religious competition and conflict but also by coexistence and cooperation in domestic politics and foreign relations, trade and commerce, science and culture."—Lisa Kaaki, Arab News

"As provocative as it is groundbreaking, this book describes this shared history in all its richness and diversity, revealing how ongoing encounters between Europe and Islam have profoundly shaped both."—
World Book Industry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691147055
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 665,825
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Tolan is professor of history at the Université de Nantes. His books include "Saracens" and "Saint Francis and the Sultan". Gilles Veinstein (1945-2013) was professor of history at the Collège de France. His books include "Merchants in the Ottoman Empire". Henry Laurens is professor of history at the Collège de France. He is the author of "L'empire et ses ennemis: La question impériale dans l'histoire".

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Table of Contents

Foreword by John L. Esposito vii
General Introduction 1

Part I: Saracens and Ifranj: Rivalries,Emulation, and Convergences
By John Tolan

  • 1. The Geographers' World: From Arabia Felix to the Balad al-Ifranj (Land of the Franks) 11
  • 2. Conquest and Its Justifications: Jihad, Crusade, Reconquista 27
  • 3. The Social Inferiority of Religious Minorities: Dhimmis and Mudejars 49
  • 4. In Search of Egyptian Gold: Traders in the Mediterranean 70
  • 5. On the Shoulders of Giants: Transmission and Exchange of Knowledge 87

Part II: The Great Turk and Europe
By Gilles Veinstein

  • Introduction to Part II: Continuity and Change in Geopolitics 111
  • 6. The Ottoman Conquest in Europe 120
  • 7. Ottoman Europe: An Ancient Fracture 149
  • 8. Antagonistic Figures 163
  • 9. The Islamic-Christian Border in Europe 186
  • 10. Breaches in the Conflict 206

Part III: Europe and the Muslim World in the Contemporary Period
By Henry Laurens

  • Introduction to Part III 257
  • 11. The Eighteenth Century as Turning Point 259
  • 12. Civilization or Conquest? 277
  • 13. The Age of Reform 295
  • 14. The Age of Empire 322
  • 15. The First Blows to European Domination 338
  • 16. The Great War and the Beginning of Emancipation 360
  • 17. Contemporary Issues 387

Notes 405
Selected Bibliography 439
Index 445
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