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rasoulallahbinbadisassalacerhso  wefaqdev iktab
السبت, 08 شباط/فبراير 2020 06:50

"Extract from "Islam and The West

كتبه  By Bernard Lewis
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"Extract from "Islam and The West

4 The OTTOMAN OBSESSION

In 1603 an immense volume of more than six hundres leaves, The Generalle Historie of the Turkes, was published in London. By no means the first book printed in England on the subject of the turks and the Europeans efforts to halt their advance, it was, nevertheless, the first to attempt a general history.

from the first beginning of that nation to the rising of the Ottoman Familie; with all the notable expeditions of the Christian Princes against them, together with the lives and conquest of the Ottomans Kings and Emperours ; faithfullie collected out of the best histories, both auntient and moderne, and digested into one continual historic until this present yeare 1603.

Its author was the English clergyman Richard Knolles, a former scholar of Lincoln College, Oxford, and Headmaster of a school at Sandwich. Knolles did not know a word of Turkish-indeed very few Europeans of his day did-nor had he ever left his native island. 

He was however, an educated Renaissance Englishmen who could read Latin, Greek, French, italian, and even German. Thanks to these attainments, he was able to make use of the writings of earlier authors whose linguistic skills and personal travels outstripped his own."I collected so much of the History as possible I could, "he wrote,"out of the Writings of such as were themselves present, and as it were Eye-witnesses of the greatest part of that they writ."

Knolles's history, drawing extensively as it does on the lierature of travel, mission, diplomacy, and scholarship, faithfully reflects the perceptions and concerns of Chrisitan Europe as regards the Turks and their faith-the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic religion-during the preceding centuries.

The threat posed by the Turks had long been perceived as twofold : a challenge to Christendom from the rival Muslim faith, and a menace to Europe of conquest and incorporation into, in Knolles's words, "the glorious Empire of the Turks, the present terror of the World."

European Christendom seems to have had some initial difficulty in recongnizing Islam as a rival world religion, preferring instead to designate the Muslim enemy by ethnic, rather than religious, terms. Some church-men, however, were well aware that they were confronting not just an ethnic tide but a rival faith, similar in some ways to their own and with equal universal aspirations. They set to work to refute the Islamic faith and therefore, of necessity, to study it. But their efforts did not stop there : not only must Christians be safeguarded from the blandishments of Muslim emissaries, but the infidel must be converted to the true faith. In the sixteenth century, and even more so in the seventeenth, however, there occurred a decisive change of attitude. True, the theological arguments of the Reformation brought about a revival of interest in Islamic scripture and doctrines as certain warring Chrisitan sects saw in Islam a possible ally for themselves or their enemies. But in general, with the growing intellectual sophistication of Renaissance and post-Renaissance Europe, the Islamic religion was no longer feared as a serious rival threatening to convert large numbers of Christians.

...

Extract of "Islam and The West" of Bernard Lewis, Chapter The ottoman Obssession, page 72-73, Oxford University Press New York Oxford 1993.

قراءة 429 مرات آخر تعديل على الأحد, 01 آذار/مارس 2020 21:13

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