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Kingdoms of faith : a new history of Islamic Spain

Author: Brian A Catlos
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Basic Books, 2018. ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"A magisterial, myth-dispelling history of Islamic Spain spanning the millennium between the founding of Islam in the seventh century and the final expulsion of Spain's Muslims in the seventeenth. In Kingdoms of Faith, award-winning historian Brian A. Catlos rewrites the history of Islamic Spain from the ground up, evoking the cultural splendor of al-Andalus, while offering an authoritative new interpretation of the
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Genre/Form: Nonfiction
History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Brian A Catlos
ISBN: 9780465055876 0465055877
OCLC Number: 1003304619
Description: xi, 482 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Prelude: The beginning of Islam and the end of antiquity --
Part I: Conquest, 700-820 --
An opening --
Trouble in paradise --
The falcon of the Quraysh --
A new emirate --
Part II: Transformation, 820-929 --
The emirate on the edge --
The invention of al-Andalus --
Saints and sinners --
Kingdoms of faith --
Part III: Triumph, 929-1030 --
A sun rising in the west --
The resplendent city --
All the Caliph's men --
"An ornament bright" --
The general, the caliph, his wife, and her lover --
The chamberlain, victorious --
The fall of the House of Umayya --
Part IV: Disarray, 1030-1220 --
The remembrance of things past --
The return of the king --
A soldier of fortune in the kingdom of philosophy --
A terrible, swift sword --
Faith and power --
An African caliphate --
Golden ages --
Part V: Romance, 1220-1482 --
The great game --
Crescent under cross --
The pearl in the necklace --
Prosperous by God --
Tales of the Alhambra --
Part VI: Shards, 1482-1614 --
A last sigh --
The virgin and the veil --
On the road with Ricote --
Epilogue: Al-Andalus unmoored.
Responsibility: Brian A. Catlos.

Abstract:

"A magisterial, myth-dispelling history of Islamic Spain spanning the millennium between the founding of Islam in the seventh century and the final expulsion of Spain's Muslims in the seventeenth. In Kingdoms of Faith, award-winning historian Brian A. Catlos rewrites the history of Islamic Spain from the ground up, evoking the cultural splendor of al-Andalus, while offering an authoritative new interpretation of the forces that shaped it. Prior accounts have portrayed Islamic Spain as a paradise of enlightened tolerance or the site where civilizations clashed. Catlos taps a wide array of primary sources to paint a more complex portrait, showing how Muslims, Christians, and Jews together built a sophisticated civilization that helped transform the Western world, even as they waged relentless war against each other and their coreligionists. Religion was often the language of conflict, but seldom its cause--a lesson we would do well to learn in our own time"--

"The history of Islamic Spain remains central to popular understandings of Europe's past and present. In Kingdoms of Faith, the acclaimed historian Brian Catlos rewrites this fascinating era from the ground up, bringing to vivid life the violence, religious passions, and cultural and scientific achievements that characterized Spain under Muslim rule, while at the same time offering an authoritative new interpretation of the forces that shaped it. Catlos opens in the 7th century with the founding of Islam, charting the bloody expansion of Muslim domains spearheaded by Muhammed's ambitious successors. Within a hundred years, the Western thrust of the Muslim conquest had crossed the narrow sea between North Africa and the rock of Gibraltar; the society they established south of the Pyrenees would endure for nearly one thousand years. Scholars and the public alike too often interpret this era in the context of the political and religious conflicts that divide the modern Middle East. Depending on our politics, Catlos argues, we imagine Muslim Spain either as a romantic golden age of peaceful toleration, or as a period when the Christians of the Iberian Peninsula suffered under merciless Muslim rulers. Avoiding both nostalgia and polemic, Catlos explores in astonishing detail the complex relations among this hybrid society's religious communities. He reveals, above all, that religious identity was only one factor among many that shaped personal identity. The glories of Islamic Spain--in mathematics, theology, astronomy, textiles and more--spread far and wide, shaping the societies of the Mediterranean basin and helping create the foundation for European ascendance"--

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"Spirited, probing and original, this is a key history of Muslim Spain. Its unique perspective illuminates the vexed issue of religious, political and cultural interaction between Christians, Jews Read more...

 
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