From Kavad to al-Ghazali: Religion, Law and Political Thought in the Near East, c.600–c.1100, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

From Kavad to al-Ghazali

Religion, Law and Political Thought in the Near East, c.600–c.1100, 1st Edition

By Patricia Crone


366 pages

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New in Paperback: 9781138375659
pub: 2018-09-27
Hardback: 9780860789567
pub: 2005-09-23
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This volume brings together twelve articles by Patricia Crone dealing with pre-Islamic and Islamic religion, law and political thought. The first section focuses on the centuries before Islam, with studies on Mazdakism in Iran and on Islam as the key factor behind the outbreak of Iconoclasm in Byzantium. The second group of studies looks at problems in legal history, including the codification of the Qur'an, while the third investigates questions of political thought, amongst them a study of early Muslim anarchists, and an examination of the authorship of a work ascribed to al-Ghazali.


’The articles demonstrate a meticulous attention to detail in both the key primary and key secondary works.’ Journal of Semitic Studies ’[Crone's] first volume of collected studies is a chance to celebrate her intellectual journey, as well as being a useful and precious instrument.’ Oriente Moderno 'The publisher has done scholars a service by making these articles available in one volume…' Heythrop Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. The Non-Islamic Near East: Kavad's heresy and Mazdak's revolt; Zoroastrian communism; Islam, Judeo-Christianity and Byzantine Iconoclasm. Law: Jahili and Jewish law: the qasama; Two legal problems bearing on the early history of the Qur'an; Weber, Islamic law, and the rise of capitalism. Political Thought: Shura as an elective institution; 'Even an Ethiopian slave': the transformation of a Sunni tradition; A statement by the Najdiyya Kharijites on the dispensability of the imamate; Ninth-century Muslim anarchists; The Kharijites and the caliphal title; Did al-Ghazali write a mirror for princes?. Index.

About the Author

Patricia Crone (1945 - 2015) was Professor Emerita in the School of Historical Studies at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General