The Rise of Science in Islam and the West : From Shared Heritage to Parting of The Ways, 8th to 19th Centuries book cover
1st Edition

The Rise of Science in Islam and the West
From Shared Heritage to Parting of The Ways, 8th to 19th Centuries

ISBN 9780367349424
Published March 31, 2021 by Routledge
520 Pages

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Book Description

This is a study of science in Muslim society from its rise in the 8th century to the efforts of 19th-century Muslim thinkers and reformers to regain the lost ethos that had given birth to the rich scientific heritage of earlier Muslim civilization. The volume is organized in four parts; the rise of science in Muslim society in its historical setting of political and intellectual expansion; the Muslim creative achievement and original discoveries; proponents and opponents of science in a religiously oriented society; and finally the complex factors that account for the end of the 500-year Muslim renaissance.

The book brings together and treats in depth, using primary and secondary sources in Arabic, Turkish and European languages, subjects that are lightly and uncritically brushed over in non-specialized literature, such as the question of what can be considered to be purely original scientific advancement in Muslim civilization over and above what was inherited from the Greco–Syriac and Indian traditions; what was the place of science in a religious society; and the question of the curious demise of the Muslim scientific renaissance after centuries of creativity. The book also interprets the history of the rise, achievement and decline of scientific study in light of the religious temper and of the political and socio-economic vicissitudes across Islamdom for over a millennium and integrates the Muslim legacy with the history of Latin/European accomplishments. It sets the stage for the next momentous transmission of science: from the West back to the Arabic-speaking world of Islam, from the last half of the 19th century to the early 21st century, the subject of a second volume.

Table of Contents

Part I Islam in Ascendance


1 Historical Setting of the Great Age

2 The Record of Original Achievement

3 Science in a Religious Society

4 Al-Ghazali at the Crossroads

Part II The Latin Connection: From Greco-Arab Classical to European Modern

5 The Latin Connections: Translation and Transmission

6 Latin Assimilation and Ascendancy

7 Renaissance and Revolution

Part III From Muslim Empires in Rise and Fall to Western Ascendance

8 Military Ascendancy: 1258-1600

9 Prologue to Decline: The Past as Future

10 Military Misfortune and the Beginning of Scientific and Technical Transfer 1600-1722

11 The Tulip Period

12 Toward a New Order

13 The New Order

Part IV Catching Up to the West: Science Assimilation in Cairo and Istanbul under Autocratic Reformers

14 The West’s Continuing Progress

15 Bonaparte’s Expedition: Savants, Shaykhs and the Institute d’Egypte

16 Muhammad Ali’s Militarization of Modernization and Educational Reform

17 Foreign Missions

18 Assessment of Muhammad Ali’s Reforms

19 Azharite Shaykhs and Modern Science

20 Intensification of Ottoman Reform under Sultan Mahmud II

21 Absolutist State Reformers vs. Young Ottoman Constitutionalists: The Young Turks and End of Empire

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John W. Livingston is Associate Professor of History at the William Paterson University of New Jersey, USA.