Reading Darwin In Arabic, 1860-1950

Paperback | February 12, 2016

byMarwa Elshakry

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In Reading Darwin in Arabic, Marwa Elshakry questions current ideas about Islam, science, and secularism by exploring the ways in which Darwin was read in Arabic from the late 1860s to the mid-twentieth century. Borrowing from translation and reading studies and weaving together the history of science with intellectual history, she explores Darwin’s global appeal from the perspective of several generations of Arabic readers and shows how Darwin’s writings helped alter the social and epistemological landscape of the Arab learned classes.
           
Providing a close textual, political, and institutional analysis of the tremendous interest in Darwin’s ideas and other works on evolution, Elshakry shows how, in an age of massive regional and international political upheaval, these readings were suffused with the anxieties of empire and civilizational decline. The politics of evolution infiltrated Arabic discussions of pedagogy, progress, and the very sense of history. They also led to a literary and conceptual transformation of notions of science and religion themselves. Darwin thus became a vehicle for discussing scriptural exegesis, the conditions of belief, and cosmological views more broadly. The book also acquaints readers with Muslim and Christian intellectuals, bureaucrats, and theologians, and concludes by exploring Darwin’s waning influence on public and intellectual life in the Arab world after World War I.
           
Reading Darwin in Arabic is an engaging and powerfully argued reconceptualization of the intellectual and political history of the Middle East.

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From the Publisher

In Reading Darwin in Arabic, Marwa Elshakry questions current ideas about Islam, science, and secularism by exploring the ways in which Darwin was read in Arabic from the late 1860s to the mid-twentieth century. Borrowing from translation and reading studies and weaving together the history of science with intellectual history, she exp...

Marwa Elshakry is associate professor in the Department of History at Columbia University, where she specializes in the history of science, technology, and medicine in the modern Middle East. She lives in New York.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:447 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:February 12, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022637873X

ISBN - 13:9780226378732

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
 
Introduction               
 
ONE / The Gospel of Science
           
TWO / Evolution and the Eastern Question
           
THREE / Materialism and Its Critics
 
FOUR / Theologies of Nature
 
FIVE / Darwin and the Mufti
 
SIX / Evolutionary Socialism
           
SEVEN / Darwin in Translation
 
Afterword
 
Notes
 
Bibliography
 
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Elshakry has written a wonderful book on the interaction between the Islamic world and Western scientific thought in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book should be of interest to anyone teaching about the impact of Darwinism, since it greatly extends the range of our information about how different cultures respond to evolutionary ideas."