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Based on epigraphic and other material evidence as well as more traditional literary sources and critical review of the extensive relevant scholarship, this book presents a comprehensive and innovative reconstruction of the rise of Islam as a religion and imperial polity. It reassesses the development of the imperial monotheism of the New Rome, and considers the history of the Arabs as an integral part of Late Antiquity, including Arab ethnogenesis and the emergence of what was to become Muslim monotheism, comparable with the emergence of other monotheisms from polytheistic systems. Topics discussed include the emergence and development of the Muhammadan polity and its new cultic deity and associated ritual, the constitution of the Muslim canon, and the development of early Islam as an imperial religion. Intended principally for scholars of Late Antiquity, Islamic studies and the history of religions, the book opens up many novel directions for future research.Read more
- Outlines what is known about the history of a divinity named Allah prior to the emergence of Islam and as Muslim scripture was being elaborated
- Provides in-depth analysis of the relationship between Islam and late antiquity, synthesising the considerable amount of work that has already been done in this domain
- Synthesises and systematically advances recent scholarship on the composition of the Koran, on Arab ethnogenesis in late antiquity, on Arab polytheism, on Muhammad, and on the character of pre-Muhammadan Arabian monotheistic and monolatrous trends
Reviews & endorsements
'Aziz Al-Azmeh starts his excellent new book by modestly describing it as an extended essay in historical interpretation' … but in reality this is a truly massive analysis of the origins of early Islam that will challenge many contemporary assumptions … This intriguing and engaging book is a welcome addition to academia. Intended primarily for postgraduate scholars of Islam, religion and Late Antiquity, this monograph suggests many exciting new directions for future studies and empirical research.' Abdullah Drury, Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations
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- Date Published: February 2017
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316641552
- length: 660 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 153 x 35 mm
- weight: 0.96kg
- contains: 6 b/w illus. 4 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Late antiquity and Islam: historiography and history
2. Gods, divine economies, and emperors
3. Arabia and Arab ethnogenesis in late antiquity
4. Preface to Allah
6. Paleo-Islam, 1: charismatic polity
7. Paleo-Islam, 2: the Paleo-Muslim canon
8. Retrospective and prospective: Islam in late antiquity and beyond.
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