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Knowledge, heresy and political culture in the Islamic West. Eighth-fifteenth centuries

Final Report Summary - KOHEPOCU (Knowledge, heresy and political culture in the Islamic West. Eighth-fifteenth centuries)

Which books circulated in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain and Portugal) and in North Africa west of Egypt between the eighth-fifteenth centuries before the rise of the Ottomans? HATA-HATOI have made available this information in an open access format ( thus allowing a better assessment of the intellectual history of the period in its local specificities and in relation to the wider global Islamic perspective and to Latin Christendom. Books were meant to convey knowledge of different types, with most of them being devoted to the Islamic sciences, those that regulated life in this world and ensured salvation in the world to come. Religious scholars – jurists, mystics, theologians - derived their authority from the management of such knowledge that most often made them collaborators of the rulers but could also lead to confrontation and even to rebellion. In her monograph Knowledge, heresy and politics in the Islamic West (eighth-fifteenth centuries), M. Fierro analyzes how knowledge and its control played a crucial role in articulating and representing the relations between rulers, scholars and the common people, and demonstrates that both collaboration and confrontation between those in power and the rest could take different forms closely linked to the kind of knowledge that was being claimed by the parties involved, with the ‘wise ruler’ representing a special category to which scarce attention has been paid until now.