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 heart jap reports" in The ny occasions ebook Review, Bernard Lewis stands on the peak of his box. "To learn Mr. Lewis," wrote Fouad Ajami in The Wall road Journal, "is to be taken via a treacherous terrain by means of the good and such a lot reassuring of courses. you're within the palms of the Islamic world's ideal dwelling historian." Now this sure-handed advisor takes us via treacherous terrain indeed--the occasions of 1492, a 12 months 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 in addition of Christendom and Islam, of Europe and the remainder. within the similar yr that Columbus set sail around the Atlantic, he reminds us, the Spanish monarchy captured Granada, the final Muslim stronghold at the peninsula, and in addition 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 impressive new context. He strains Christian Europe's course from being a primitive backwater at the edges of the sizeable, cosmopolitan Caliphate, in the course of the heightening contention of the 2 religions, to the triumph of the West over Islam, analyzing the standards at the back of their altering fortunes. That contest lengthy remained extra vital in lots of Christians' minds than the recent international: as overdue because the 1683, Vienna virtually fell to the Ottoman armies. Lewis additionally displays on altering characteristics in ecu and Islamic cultures. The Jews who fled Spain came across a receptive atmosphere 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 to outflank the Islamic international. the ecu explorers sailed right into a global 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 Africa, Asia, the center and much East, the outdated and New Worlds--as highbrow innovations, all are eu creations, Lewis observes; mockingly, those similar definitions were authorized by way of the main anti-Western activists.
Bernard Lewis's balanced, insightful account of this pivotal period transcends the new polemics approximately 1492, supplying us with a awesome portrait of an age usually obscured by way of the anger and complacency of this day. This far-reaching dialogue of the encounters among Islam, the West, and the globe offers a brand new realizing of the far away occasions that gave form to the fashionable international.

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