Guardians of Islam: Religious Authority and Muslim Communities of Late Medieval Spain

Kobo ebook | October 28, 2008

byKathryn A. Miller

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Muslim enclaves within non-Islamic polities are commonly believed to have been beleaguered communities undergoing relentless cultural and religious decline. Cut off from the Islamic world, these Muslim groups, it is assumed, passively yielded to political, social, and economic forces of assimilation and acculturation before finally accepting Christian dogma.

Kathryn A. Miller radically reconceptualizes what she calls the exclave experience of medieval Muslim minorities. By focusing on the legal scholars ( faqihs) of fifteenth-century Aragonese Muslim communities and translating little-known and newly discovered texts, she unearths a sustained effort to connect with Muslim coreligionaries and preserve practice and belief in the face of Christian influences. Devoted to securing and disseminating Islamic knowledge, these local authorities intervened in Christian courts on behalf of Muslims, provided Arabic translations, and taught and advised other Muslims. Miller follows the activities of the faqihs, their dialogue with Islamic authorities in nearby Muslim polities, their engagement with Islamic texts, and their pursuit of traditional ideals of faith. She demonstrates that these local scholars played a critical role as cultural mediators, creating scholarly networks and communal solidarity despite living in an environment dominated by Christianity.

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Muslim enclaves within non-Islamic polities are commonly believed to have been beleaguered communities undergoing relentless cultural and religious decline. Cut off from the Islamic world, these Muslim groups, it is assumed, passively yielded to political, social, and economic forces of assimilation and acculturation before finally acc...

Kathryn A. Miller is assistant professor of history at Stanford University. Her research interests focus on medieval Iberia, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations in the medieval Mediterranean, commerce, and comparative legal history. Her current research concerns the trade of captives across religious boundaries between the fourteenth an...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 28, 2008Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231509839

ISBN - 13:9780231509831

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction: The Muslim Exclaves in Christian Spain
1. On the Border of Infidelity
2. From Dar al-Islam to Dar al-Harb: Landscapes of Mudejar Spain
3. Transmitting Knowledge and Building Networks
4. Write It Down!
5. Pretending to Be Jurists
6. The Scholar's Jihad, the Mudejar Mosque, and Preaching
7. Captive Redemption: From Dar al-Harb to Dar al-Islam
Epilogue
Selected Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

Miller writes lucidly and with an evident appreciation for language and the well-turned phrase. The book is not only a "must" but a pleasure to read.