Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery
Hailed as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies" in The New York Times Book Review, Bernard Lewis stands at the height of his field. "To read Mr. Lewis," wrote Fouad Ajami in The Wall Street Journal, "is to be taken through a treacherous terrain by the coolest and most reassuring of guides. You are in the hands of the Islamic world's foremost living historian." Now this sure-handed guide takes us through treacherous terrain indeed--the events of 1492, a year laden with epic events and riven by political debate.With elegance and erudition, Lewis explores that climactic year as a clash of civilizations--a clash not only of the New World and the Old, but also of Christendom and Islam, of Europe and the rest. In the same year that Columbus set sail across the Atlantic, he reminds us, the Spanish monarchy captured Granada, the last Muslim stronghold on the peninsula, and also expelled the Jews. Lewis uses these three epochal events to explore the nature of the European-Islamic conflict, placing the voyages of discovery in a striking new context. He traces Christian Europe's path from being a primitive backwater on the edges of the vast, cosmopolitan Caliphate, through the heightening rivalry of the two religions, to the triumph of the West over Islam, examining the factors behind their changing fortunes and cultural qualities.Balanced and insightful, this far-reaching discussion of the encounters between Islam, the West, and the globe provides a new understanding of the distant events that gave shape to the modern world.
What people are saying - Write a review
TITLE: "A great intro or primer to Islamic Studies" April 11, 2005
This booklet (a compilation of three speeches given by the author) is a fast and easy read about the state of 3 world cultures (Islam, Jewdaism, Christianity) around 1492 (especially as seen in the Iberian peninsula - Spain, and subsequent world exploration).
It is a great intro (primer) to understanding how the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures affected each other and evolved in the late 15th century and into the 16th century. The analysis of how advanced the Muslim culture was and why it stopped advancing and making significant discoveries post-1492 is the gem of this treatise.
Bernard Lewis, a widely read British historian and a Near Eastern Studies Emeritus professor at Princeton University, has written over 20 books about the Muslim world and history of Islam.
I would recommend this for anyone wanting to understand the historical context of the start of deterioration and decline of Muslim influence on world events, and the stagnation of Muslim technical and cultural advancements.
The author's conclusion is that today's cultural divide between the West and the Islam world are grounded in the historical, cultural, and social developments of late 15th century. This book offers very little if any religious theological analysis.
Review: Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims & Jews in the Age of DiscoveryUser Review - Juliana - Goodreads
I am not fond of Bernard Lewis. Read full review