Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800

ISBN-10: 0226729893
ISBN-13: 9780226729893
Edition: 2009
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Description: Attitudes toward homosexuality in the pre-modern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as schizophrenic. On the one hand, Arabic love poetry, biographical works, and bawdy satires suggest that homosexuality was a visible and tolerated part of  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/19/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Attitudes toward homosexuality in the pre-modern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as schizophrenic. On the one hand, Arabic love poetry, biographical works, and bawdy satires suggest that homosexuality was a visible and tolerated part of Arab-Islamic elite culture before the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Islam supposedly considers homosexuality an abomination and prescribes severe punishment for it. InBefore Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800,Khaled El-Rouayheb shows that this apparent paradox is based on the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a timeless, self-evident fact to which a particular culture reacts with some degree of tolerance or intolerance. Drawing on poetry, belles lettres, biographical literature, medicine, physiognomy, dream interpretation, and Islamic legal, mystical, and homiletic texts, he shows that the culture of the period lacked the concept of homosexuality. Instead, paramount importance was given to distinctions that are not captured by that term-between active and passive sexual roles, between passionate infatuation and lust, and between penetrative and nonpenetrative intercourse.

Khaled El-Rouayheb is a Professor of Islamic Intellectual History in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. He specializes in Arabic and Islamic intellectual history, especially in the period from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries. He is the author of Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800 (2005) and Relational Syllogisms and the History of Arabic Logic, 900-1900 (2010). He is also co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy.

Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: Pederasts and Pathics Chapter Two: Aesthetes Chapter Three: Sodomites Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

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