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The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Christian scholars laid the groundwork for the modern Western understanding of Islamic civilization. These men produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an into a European language, mapped the branches of the Islamic arts and sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. The Republic ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published February 23rd 2018 by Belknap Press
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Murtaza
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before the term "Orientalist" gained its negative connotation, there was a small yet dedicated generation of European scholars working at the beginning of the Enlightenment era who sought to understand the peoples of the Muslim world and their beliefs. They did so not in the service of raw power or to patronize the Muslims and their religion. Rather, these Catholic and Protestant scholars saw Islam and the civilization that it created as comparable to their own Christendom (albeit as an ultimate ...more
Caroline
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Republic of Arabic Letters is an enlightening investigation of European efforts between about 1600 and 1800 to acquire, translate, and characterize great works of Islamic literature. Bevilacqua seeks to undermine the view that the Enlightenment writers ‘discovered’ these works and spread knowledge of them through Europe. In particular, he asserts that earlier efforts to translate the works and convey knowledge of the Islamic world to European readers were in general more erudite, objective, ...more
Salma
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب جميل ومميز بموضوعه وبوفرة مراجعه
ويستحق خمس نجمات بجدارة
فهو من المواضيع التي أحبها، ومبحوث بعناية
وكان من الممكن أن أعيش معه تجربة ثرية كما عشتها مع كتاب نبيل مطر الرائع: االإسلام في بريطانيا
لكن الترجمة أبخسته حقه للأسف
فكثير من الجمل عسرة وفي تركيبها خلل، وتحتاج لإعادة صياغة ككلام عربي فعلا
مما أفقدني متعة القراءة
-_-
...more
Lamia Al-Qahtani
موضوع الكتاب جيد يؤرخ فيه قصة ترجمة القرآن والتاريخ الإسلامي إلى اللغات الأوروبية، لكن الترجمة صعبت من فهم محتواه، التراكيب صعبة إضافة إلى الأخطاء النحوية وأخطاء الطباعة في التحويل إلى الهوامش وغيرها.
Mbarak
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
يرى المؤلف أنه كان هناك زخم من الترجمة ودراسة كتب المسلمين ما بين ١٦٥٠ إلى ١٧٥٠. تميزت هذه الفترة بنظرة أكثر تقديرا واحتراما للدين الإسلامي كدين مكافئ للنصرانية وللمسلمين كحضارة و شعب له مكانته في التاريخ الإنساني. هذه النظرة اختلفت عن نظرة الأوروبيين في الفترات السابقة والتي ترى في الدين الإسلامي مجرد هرطقة و المسلمين مجموعة من البدو الذين نشروا هرطقتهم بقوة السيف.

يرجع الكاتب هذا التغيير إلى عدة أسباب: أحدها هو توقف حصار العثمانيين لفيينا سنة ١٦٨٣ وسيادة جو من الاستقرار السياسي ما بين العثمانيي
...more
Shivatva Beniwal
May 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
The author of this book tries to point out that how ISLAM (the reading of the Qurʼan) shaped the Enlightenment (in Europe). And he names a number European thinkers who studied the Qurʼan and got influenced by it.

This book is very fascinating if you have absolutely no knowledge of the teachings of Muhammad and the thinkers of the Enlightenment, and you are an idealist who by hook or by crook propagates the famous Islamic apologetic phrase that “Teachings of Muhammad are really good”.

His intentio
...more
Phi Beta Kappa Authors
Alexander Bevilacqua
ΦBK, Harvard College, 2007
Author

From the publisher: In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Christian scholars laid the groundwork for the modern Western understanding of Islamic civilization. These men produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an into a European language, mapped the branches of the Islamic arts and sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. The Republic of Arabic Letters reconstructs this process, reveal
...more
Chris Miller
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, history, religion
The audience for this book does not have to be scholarly. It is well written and researched, making it very interesting and informative, not only for the specialist but a general reader as well. Mr. Bevilacqua takes us through the period 1600-1800+ showing the transmission of Islamic culture and works into Latin as well as other languages. He leads us from polemics that are studied to refute the Q'uran, through people who respect if not accept the culture. He introduces and brings to life a numb ...more
Brian
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Nothing wrong with the book. Very well researched. Not really interesting or engaging despite its sophisticated writing style
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