Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800

Paperback | April 1, 2009

byKhaled El-Rouayheb

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Attitudes toward homosexuality in the pre-modern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as schizophrenic—visible and tolerated on one hand, prohibited by Islam on the other. Khaled El-Rouayheb argues that this apparent paradox is based on the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a timeless, self-evident fact to which a particular culture reacts with some degree of tolerance or intolerance. Drawing on poetry, biographical literature, medicine, dream interpretation, and Islamic texts, he shows that the culture of the period lacked the concept of homosexuality.

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Attitudes toward homosexuality in the pre-modern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as schizophrenic—visible and tolerated on one hand, prohibited by Islam on the other. Khaled El-Rouayheb argues that this apparent paradox is based on the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a timeless, self-evident fact to which a part...

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Attitudes toward male homosexuality in the premodern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as inconsistent. On the one hand, Arabic love poetry, biographical works, and bawdy satires suggest that homosexuality was a visible and tolerated part of Arab-Islamic elite culture before the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Islam suppo...

Khaled El-Rouayheb is assistant professor of Islamic intellectual history in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 1, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226729893

ISBN - 13:9780226729893

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter One: Pederasts and Pathics
Chapter Two: Aesthetes
Chapter Three: Sodomites
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Meticulously researched, lucidly written, nuanced, and brilliantly conceived, [the book] forthrightly takes on complex issues surrounding the culture of same-sex eroticism that existed in the Arabic-speaking lands of the early modern Ottoman Empire. . . . Although the book will be obligatory reading for students of Ottoman and Arab literature, culture, sociology, intellectual history, the history of sex, and related fields, it most certainly belongs on the bookshelves of those with any interest in the history and theology of Islam or, more generally, in religious approaches to sexuality. . . . An important book by an excellent scholar."