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Islam in Britain, 1558–1685


  • Date Published: November 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521622332

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the impact of Islam on Britain between 1558 and 1685. Professor Matar provides a perspective on the transformation of British thought and society by demonstrating how influential Islam was in the formation of early modern British culture. Christian-Muslim interaction was not, as is often thought, primarily adversarial; rather, there was extensive cultural, intellectual and missionary engagement with Islam in Britain. The author documents conversion both to and from Islam, and surveys reactions to these conversions. He examines the impact of the Qur'an and Sufism, not to mention coffee, on British culture, and cites extensive interaction of Britons with Islam through travel, in London coffee houses, in church, among converts to and from Islam, in sermons and in plays. Finally, he focuses on the theological portrait of Muslims in conversionist and eschatological writings.

    • Demonstrates for the first time how influential Islam was in the formation of early modern British culture
    • Documents the extensive cultural, intellectual and missionary engagement with Islam that occurred in Britain at the time
    • Contrasts the perception of Jews and Muslims in British eschatology and millenarianism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The origins of both British attitudes to Islam are charted in Nabil Matar's brilliant and gripping study, an astonishing compendium of groundbreaking research whose very title is a measure of quite how original and surprising this book is … but it is also warmly and wittily written and, unusually for a heavyweight academic book, enormously readable and accessible. It is certainly the most surprising book I have read for many months. William Dalrymple, The Sunday Times

    ' … a treasure trove of a book … this will appeal not only to scholars, but also to those who like their history to consist primarily of facts and evidence, and only secondarily of theories.' Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph

    'I recommend you beg, borrow or steal a copy of this book, not just for yourself to read, but to send to anyone whose anti-Turkish prejudices overcome their intelligence.' David Carter, Cyprus Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1998
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521622332
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 160 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.465kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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

  • Author

    Nabil Matar, Florida Institute of Technology

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