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Power and TimeTemporalities in Conflict and the Making of History$
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Dan Edelstein, Stefanos Geroulanos, and Natasha Wheatley

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226481623

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226706016.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2021

The Invention of the Muslim Golden Age: Universal History, the Arabs, Science, and Islam

The Invention of the Muslim Golden Age: Universal History, the Arabs, Science, and Islam

Chapter:
(p.80) 2 The Invention of the Muslim Golden Age: Universal History, the Arabs, Science, and Islam
Source:
Power and Time
Author(s):

Marwa Elshakry

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226706016.003.0003

The history of science is a history of the world. Or so it began. As both a discourse and a discipline, it started off as the search for the universal history of civilizations. It was an episodic history, to be sure. Yet it assumed that science was a shared enterprise, a unified and ecumenical concept, and the key to humanity’s collective history. This essay traces this history through only one episode of this story: how the idea of an Arab, or Muslim, “golden age” of science was collectively and gradually constructed, or told and retold, between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, and how it participated in the creation of new—both universal and historical (or historicist)—temporalities.

Keywords:   Muslim Golden Age, universal history, Nahda, Rifa‘a Rafi‘a al-Tahtawi, Ibn Khaldun, Ernest Renan, Gustave Le Bon, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Jurji Zaidan, orientalism

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