This book, a milestone of Islamic scholarship, calls attention to those aspects of Arab Islamic culture that excite modern controversy. Professor Khalidi examines the classical period, when the basic cultural patterns of Islamic civilisation were established, the various branches of religious and non-religious scholarship defined, and the religious lifestyles had become embedded in the subconscious of an ancient society. The topics covered are: The Foundations; God and His Community; Islamic Paideia; Attitudes Towards the Past; The Mystic Quest; The Place of Reason; The World of Nature; The Governance of the Umma; Ibn Khaldun: The Great Synthesist; Past and Present in Contemporary Arabic Thought.
Tarif Khalidi is Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic, Cambridge University. Educated at Oxford University and the University of Chicago (PhD), he is the author of 'Islamic Historiography' and editor of 'Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East'.