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Muhammad in Europe: A Thousand Years of Western Myth-Making Hardcover – 1 Aug 2001

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Hardcover, 1 Aug 2001
£74.44 £3.84

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An impressive, uselful and salutary guide
From the crusades of the eleventh century CE down to the present day, presentations of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in European literature and religious writing alike have often been used as a foil to Christian Europe’s search for its own religious identity and to its search for identity through religion.

It has been a foil whose original intention was to warn an insecure Christian world of the potential dangers of the emerging Islamic religion. Thus the representations sought to dissuade, to deter and to terrify. Consequently for centuries of European writing the Prophet Muhammad has been attributed characteristics that bear practically no relationship to those of the historical man.

Prefaced by a biographical sketch of the Prophet Muhammad’s life, this book takes the reader on a journey through the defining eras of European history and thought. It traces this persistent mythical representation of the founder of Islam in works dating from the Middle Ages to the last decade of the twentieth century, spanning Latin, Italian, French, German and English language sources, and culminates with a critical analysis of Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel, The Satanic Verses. The author has, however, taken care to highlight the positive interpretations that have enriched European poetry and thought.

It is the author’s conviction that as we enter the new millennium, it is only by unravelling the strands of fact from those of fiction in European literature that a solid foundation for mutual understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds can be reached. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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