New PDF release: Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800

By Khaled El-Rouayheb

ISBN-10: 0226729885

ISBN-13: 9780226729886

Attitudes towards homosexuality within the pre-modern Arab-Islamic global are as a rule depicted as schizophrenic—visible and tolerated on one hand, prohibited through Islam at the different. Khaled El-Rouayheb argues that this obvious paradox is predicated at the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a undying, self-evident truth to which a specific tradition reacts with a point of tolerance or intolerance. Drawing on poetry, biographical literature, medication, dream interpretation, and Islamic texts, he indicates that the tradition of the interval lacked the concept that of homosexuality. “Meticulously researched, lucidly written, nuanced, and brilliantly conceived, [the ebook] forthrightly takes on advanced matters surrounding the tradition of same-sex eroticism that existed within the Arabic-speaking lands of the early smooth Ottoman Empire. . . . a huge ebook by means of a superb scholar.”—Journal of Religion “Rectifies many . . . prejudices and misinterpretations in a masterly fashion.”—Bulletin of the college of Oriental and African Studies   (20050617)

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It was also recognized that it was possible to be outwardly effeminate without being a passive sodomite. However, it seems misguided to expect a strictly literal use of what were, after all, very derogatory epithets. That the two terms were usually used interchangeably is clear from the bawdy-erotic literature, and is also confirmed by jurists of the period who discussed insults that qualify as formal accusations of illicit sexual intercourse. The Egyptian scholar Ahmad al-Dardīr (d. 1786), for example, asserted that someone who calls a man a mukhannath has made such an accusation, and is thus bound to substantiate his claim or face punishment for slander.

The Arabic literature of the early Ottoman period (1516 -1798) is replete with casual and sometimes sympathetic references to homosexual love. Biographical dictionaries, poetic anthologies, and belletristic works on profane love relate, usually without any hint of disapproval, the pederastic love affairs of prominent poets, religious scholars, and political notables. Much if not most of the extant love poetry of the period is pederastic in tone, portraying an adult male poet’s passionate love for a teenage boy.

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-226-72988-5 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Homosexuality—Arab countries—History. 2. Sodomy-Arab countries-History. 3. Homosexuality in literature. I. Title. 48-1992. To discover from the history of thought that there are in fact no such timeless concepts, but only the various different concepts which have gone with various different societies, is to discover a general truth not merely about the past but about ourselves. QUENTIN SKINNER, “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” Acknowledgments The present work is a revised version of a PhD dissertation submitted at the University of Cambridge.

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Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800 by Khaled El-Rouayheb


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