The Times Of History

Universal Topics in Islamic Historiography
$90.00 / €79.00 / £71.00
Publication date: 
2007 328 pages

This is a collection of essays on current questions of historiography, illustrated with reference to Islamic historiography. The main concerns are conceptions of time and temporality, the uses of the past, historical periodisation, historical categorisation, and the constitution of historical objects, not least those called "civilisation" and "Islam". One of the aims of the book is to apply to Islamic materials the standard conceptual equipment used in historical study, and to exercise a large-scale comparativist outlook.

Foreword: Beyond Orientalism, by Hayden White

I. Historical Catgorisation

1.Tropes and Temporalities of Historiographic Romanticism, Modern and Islamic

2. Islam and the History of Civilisations

II. Typological Time, Patterning and the Past Appropriated

3. Chronophagous Discourse: A Study of the Clerico-Legal Appropriation of the World in an Islamic Tradition

4. The Muslim Canon from Late Antiquity to the Era of Modernism

5. Histoire et narration dans l'historiographie arabe

III. History of the Future

6. God's Chronography and Dissipative Time

7. Rhetoric for the Senses: A Consideration of Muslim Paradise Narratives

IV. Distractions of Clio: Impasses and Perspectives of Historians’ History

8. Classical and Medieval Islamic Political Thought: Current Historiography and the Frame of History

9. Monotheistic Monarchy

"Aziz Al-Azmeh's collection of essays on the historiography of the Near East, Muslim religiosity, and the problems raised by the effort to specify the nature of 'Islam' (is) illuminating, full of learning, and intimately relevant to the understanding of current conflicts throughout the Arab world"
"This new book by the renowned intellectual historian Aziz al-Azmeh is a very unique and opportune contribution to scholarship on Islamic historiography.... This book is a critical evaluation of fundamental concepts in history, such as time, tradition and canon, and civilization. As such, [az-Azmeh's] approach is closer to those of Reinhart Koselleck, Norbert Elias or Quentin Skinner than it is to that of anyone else currently working in Islamic studies. This book is a sophisticated treatment of Islamic and European approaches to the history of Islam, and will prove to be intellectually engaging for anyone working on historiography in any geographical context."