Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery

Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery

Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery

Bernard Lewis


Hailed as "the doyen of center jap reports" in The ny occasions booklet Review, Bernard Lewis stands on the top of his box. "To learn Mr. Lewis," wrote Fouad Ajami in The Wall highway Journal, "is to be taken via a treacherous terrain by means of the best and such a lot reassuring of courses. you're within the palms of the Islamic world's premiere residing historian." Now this sure-handed consultant takes us via treacherous terrain indeed--the occasions of 1492, a yr weighted down with epic occasions and riven through political debate.
With beauty and erudition, Lewis explores that climactic yr as a conflict of civilizations--a conflict not just of the recent global and the previous, but additionally of Christendom and Islam, of Europe and the remainder. within the comparable 12 months that Columbus set sail around the Atlantic, he reminds us, the Spanish monarchy captured Granada, the final Muslim stronghold at the peninsula, and likewise expelled the Jews. Lewis makes use of those 3 epochal occasions to discover the character of the ecu- Islamic clash, putting the voyages of discovery in a awesome new context. He lines Christian Europe's direction from being a primitive backwater at the edges of the tremendous, cosmopolitan Caliphate, throughout the heightening contention of the 2 religions, to the triumph of the West over Islam, analyzing the criteria in the back of their altering fortunes. That contest lengthy remained extra very important in lots of Christians' minds than the recent global: as past due because the 1683, Vienna nearly fell to the Ottoman armies. Lewis additionally displays on altering characteristics in eu and Islamic cultures. The Jews who fled Spain stumbled on a receptive setting in Turkey; however the stability of tolerance and openness to innovation progressively shifted west. The voyages of discovery have been themselves part of the Christian-Muslim clash, he writes, an try and outflank the Islamic international. the ecu explorers sailed right into a international they scarcely understood; and but they imposed their very own perceptions of geography at the lands they conquered. Africa, Asia, the center and much East, the outdated and New Worlds--as highbrow innovations, all are ecu creations, Lewis observes; mockingly, those comparable definitions were accredited by means of the main anti-Western activists.
Bernard Lewis's balanced, insightful account of this pivotal period transcends the new polemics approximately 1492, offering us with a notable portrait of an age frequently obscured via the anger and complacency of this present day. This far-reaching dialogue of the encounters among Islam, the West, and the globe offers a brand new figuring out of the far away occasions that gave form to the fashionable global.

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