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Hierarchy and Egalitarianism in Islamic Thought

Hierarchy and Egalitarianism in Islamic Thought


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521894289

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • By examining a wide range of Arabic and Persian literature from the eighth to the thirteenth century, Louise Marlow shows the tension that existed between the traditional egalitarian ideal of early Islam, and the hierarchical impulses of the classical period. The literature demonstrates that while Islam's initial orientation was markedly egalitarian, the social aspect of this egalitarianism was soon undermined in the aftermath of Islam's political success, and as hierarchical social ideas from older cultures in the Middle East were incorporated into the new polity. Although the memory of its early promise never entirely receded, social egalitarianism quickly came to be associated with political subversion. This 1997 book will be of use to a wide readership of Islamic historians and of scholars assessing the impact of the modern Islamic revival.

    • An original study based on a wide range of new material, dealing with a long period of time (over half a millennium)
    • Author is known in the field for broad ranging and distinguished work
    • Of interest across disciplines to Middle East scholars, Islamic scholars, religious studies scholars, and to medieval historians generally
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The range of texts and secondary literature used is very impressive.' G. R. Hawting, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521894289
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Sources for Islamic Social Ideals:
    1. Egalitarianism and the growth of a pious opposition
    2. The Muslim reception of Greek ideas
    3. The Muslim reception of Iranian social models
    4. The disassociation of egalitarianism and opposition
    5. The didactic literature of the courts
    6. Rationalisations of inequalities
    7. Hierarchies of occupations

  • Author

    Louise Marlow, Wellesley College, Massachusetts

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