Ideas, Images, and Methods of Portrayal: Insights into Classical Arabic Literature and Islam

Sebastian Günther, ed., Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2005. 468 pages.

This ambitious collection of sixteen essays (plus an introduction by the editor) ranges widely across Islamic history and scholarly disciplines. The unifying theme is reflected in the title: Muslim texts are examined for their conceptual frameworks as conveyers of a cultural ethos. While some essays are more successful than others in enunciating this theme’s more theoretical aspects, the range of topics covered means that most readers will find something of interest and relevance and will likely be stimulated to apply the methods of analysis to their own area of study.

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