Jews, Christians, and the Abode of IslamModern Scholarship, Medieval Realities

Jews, Christians, and the Abode of IslamModern Scholarship, Medieval Realities

Jacob Lassner

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226471075

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

This book examines the triangular relationship that during the Middle Ages defined—and continues to define today—the political and cultural interaction among the three Abrahamic faiths. The book looks closely at the debates occasioned by modern Western scholarship on Islam to study the social and political status of medieval Jews and Christians in various Islamic lands from the seventh to the thirteenth centuries. Utilizing primary sources, it balances the rhetoric of literary and legal texts from the Middle Ages with other, newly published medieval sources, describing life as it was actually lived among the three faith communities. The book shows what medieval Muslims meant when they spoke of tolerance, and how that abstract concept played out at different times and places in the real world of Christian and Jewish communities under Islamic rule. Finally, the book looks at what a more informed picture of the relationship among the Abrahamic faiths in the medieval Islamic world might mean for modern scholarship on medieval Islamic civilization and for the contentious global environment of today.