The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East

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George Nicholas Atiyeh
SUNY Press, 1995 - Antiques & Collectibles - 305 pages
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The Book in the Islamic World brings together serious studies on the book as an intellectual entity and as a vehicle of cultural development. Written by a group of distinguished scholars, it examines and reflects upon this unique tool of communication not as a physical artifact but as a manifestation of the aspirations, values, and wisdom of Arabs and Muslims in general.

The Islamic system of book production differed from that of the West. This volume shows the peculiarities of book making and the intellectual principles that governed a book's inner structure, mysteries, and impact on culture. Investigated and explained are the issues involved in printing; the compilation of the Koran, the most important book in Islam; attitudes toward books; the oral versus the written tradition; metaphors of the book in literature; biographical dictionaries, an important genre of Islamic books; the grammatical tradition; women's contribution to calligraphy; scientific manuscripts; the transition from scribal to print culture; publishing in the modern Arab World; and the new electronic media, a non-book vehicle of communication, and its impact on education.

 

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Contents

From the Manuscript Age to the Age of Printed Books
1
The Koranic Text From Revelation to Compilation
17
Of Making Many Books There Is No End The Classical Muslim View
33
Oral Transmission and the Book in Islamic Education The Spoken and the Written Word
57
The Book of LifeMetaphors Connected with the Book in Islamic Literatures
71
Biographical Dictionaries Inner Structure and Cultural Significance
93
The Book in the Grammatical Tradition Development in Content and Methods
123
Womens Roles in the Art of Arabic Calligraphy
141
A Royal Manuscript and Its Transformation The Life History of a Book
179
Faris alShidyaq and the Transition from Scribal to Print Culture in the Middle East
209
The Book in the Modern Arab World The Cases of Lebanon and Egypt
233
Mass Higher Education and the Religious Imagination in Contemporary Arab Societies
255
The Book in the Islamic World A Selective Bibliography
273
Ottoman Imperial Documents Relating to the History of Books and Printing
283
Notes on Contributors
293
Index
297

Some Illustrations in Islamic Scientific Manuscripts and Their Secrets
149

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About the author (1995)

George N. Atiyeh is the head of the Near East Section at the Library of Congress. He has authored and edited a number of books and articles, among which are al-Kindi, the Philosopher of the Arabs; The Contemporary Middle East, 1948-1973: A Bibliography; and Arab Civilization: Challenges and Responses.

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