Text & Context in Islamic Societies

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Irene A. Bierman, Gustave E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies
Garnet & Ithaca Press, 2004 - Religion - 176 pages
The Giorgio Levi Della Vida Conference celebrates outstanding scholars whose work has significantly advanced the study of Islamic civilization. This book is a collection of papers from the sixteenth conference which honored André Raymond and Josef van Ess. The theme of text and context is fully explored, using examples such as hadith and tar'ikh, the Arab or the Islamic city, medieval Islamic scientific instruments and modern media. The collection begins with an introduction to the various ways of looking at text, from hermeneutics to philology, and from historiography to social anthropology. It also contains a survey of the methodologies of modern Islamic studies. The importance of the text in Islamic culture is explored in close analysis of hadith; a survey of Arab historians; an account of the texts that can provide context for the historian of the Arab city; and an examination of the current contest over the conservation of Fatimid Cairo. The collection concludes with a look at how mass education and mass communication are changing the approach to traditional texts in Islamic societies. Contributors include R. Stephen Humphreys, David A. King, Paula Sanders and Dale F. Eickelman.

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