Hugh Talat Halman, “Where The Two Seas Meet” (Fons Vitae, 2013)
In Where The Two Seas Meet (Fons Vitae, 2013), Hugh Talat Halman unpacks one of the most provocative narratives in the Islamic tradition. In the 18th chapter of the Qur’an, Surat al-Kahf (The Cave), a mysterious figure named Khidr (the “Green Man”), guides Moses through a series of seemingly criminal... Read More
Najam Haider, “The Origins of the Shia: Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in Eighth-Century Kufa” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
When did groups in Kufa begin forming unique identities leading to the development of Shiism? Najam Haider, professor of Religion at Barnard College of Columbia University, answers this question in his book, The Origins of Shia: Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in Eighth-Century Kufa (Cambridge University Press, 2011). This study... Read More
Marwa Elshakry, “Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
The work of Charles Darwin, together with the writing of associated scholars of society and its organs and organisms, had a particularly global reach in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Marwa Elshakry‘s new book offers a fascinating window into the ways that this work was read and rendered... Read More
Sean Anthony, “Crucifixion and Death as Spectacle” (American Oriental Society, 2014)
Crucifixion is one of the most widely envisioned symbols in history. So much so, that for a contemporary reader the notion almost immediately plants an image of Jesus on the cross. Sean Anthony, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Oregon, argues that an assumption of uniformity in the... Read More
Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, “Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East” (Yale UP, 2014)
This book tells a remarkable and–to me at least–little known but very important story. In Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East(Yale UP, 2014), Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz trace the many connections between Germany–Imperial and Nazi–and the Arab world. Their particular focus is on a... Read More
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