Islam in Britain, 1558-1685

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This book examines the impact of Islam on early modern Britain. Christian-Muslim interaction at this time was not, as is often thought, primarily adversarial; rather, there was extensive cultural, intellectual and missionary engagement with Islam. Professor Matar investigates the impact of the Qur'an and sufism on the people of Britain, showing that the British interacted widely with Islamic religion, culture and people through travel, in London coffee houses, in church, among converts to and from Islam, in sermons and in plays.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Matar offers a carefully annotated new assessment of the steady impact of Islam on British thought and its ultimate influence on Britain's early modern culture... His grasp of Islamic culture, which enables him to point out the misunderstandings of several famous seventeenth-century writers, also gives a modern student the proper context of a culture which in that earlier period was not properly discovered." Albert J. Loomie, Albion

"Matar's book will interest historians and literary scholars concerned with the religious and cultural history of Britain and its relationship with other societies in the early modern period. Unlike many books on cultural encounters, it is jargon-free and suitable for assignment to advanced undergraduates. Cambridge University Press should be honored for including proper, bottom-of-the-page footnotes and an extensive bibliography." William E. Burns, Sixteenth Century Journal

"...a splendid work of scholarship, and one wishes it the readership it deserves." Religious Studies Review

"...The book is a wonderful corrective to the notion that Islam and Muslims had very little impact on Britian and Britons during this time period." Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521622332
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Transcription; Introduction: Islam in early modern Britain; 1. 'Turning Turke': conversion to Islam in English writings; 2. The renegade on stage and in church; 3. 'Arabia Britannica': 'Alcoran' and the legacy of Arabic Islam; 4. 'Baptising the Turk': conversion to Christianity in English writings; 5. Eschatology and the Saracens; Conclusion: Islam and Britain: centripetal to centrifugal; Bibliography; Index.

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