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Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism

Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism

by Nabil Matar (Editor)


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Henry Stubbe (1632-1676) was an extraordinary English scholar who challenged his contemporaries by writing about Islam as a monotheistic revelation in continuity with Judaism and Christianity. His major work, The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism, was the first English text to document the Prophet Muhammad's life positively, celebrate the Qur'an as a divine revelation, and praise the Muslim toleration of Christians, undermining a long legacy of European prejudice and hostility.

Nabil Matar, a leading scholar of Islamic-British relations, standardizes Stubbe's text and situates it within England's theological and intellectual climate in the seventeenth century. He shows how, to draw a historical portrait of Muhammad, Stubbe embraced travelogues, Latin commentaries, studies on Jewish customs and Scripture, and, most important, Arabic chronicles, many written by medieval Christian Arabs who had lived in the midst of the Islamic polity. No European writer before or for a long time after Stubbe produced anything similar to what he wrote about Muhammad the "great Prophet," Ali the "gallant" advocate, and the "standing miracle" of the Qur'an. Stubbe's book therefore makes a unique contribution to the study of the representation of Islam in Western thought.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231156646
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 12/24/2013
Series: Records of Western Civilization Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nabil Matar is Presidential Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. He is also a member of the History Department and the Religious Studies Program. He has written extensively on relations between Western Europe and the Islamic Mediterranean. His latest publications were with Gerald MacLean, Britain and the Islamic World, and with Judy Hayden, Through the Eyes of the Beholder: The Holy Land, 1517–1713. His forthcoming work is British Captives in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, 1563–1760.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The "Copernican Revolution" of Henry Stubbe
The Printed and Manuscript Sources: Editorial Policy
The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism

What People are Saying About This

John Michael Archer

Nabil Matar is the leading literary historian (indeed, historian) of Islam's influence in Britain during the early modern period through the Enlightenment, and perhaps the sole scholar competent to produce an edition of this kind. He is a textual editor who also possesses the breadth of literary, historical, and theological knowledge to introduce and explain the text.

Jonathan Burton

This is a work of significant historical revisionism, dedicated to refuting popular misunderstandings and presenting, for the first time, Christian Arab writers as 'indispensable interlocutors who challenged western historiography and the Western canon.'

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