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Islam and Romanticism: Muslim Currents from Goethe to Emerson


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Revealing Islam’s formative influence on literary Romanticism, Islam and Romanticism traces a lively lineage of interreligious exchange, surveying the impact of Muslim sources on the West’s most seminal authors. Spanning continents and centuries, the book surveys Islamic receptions that bridge Romantic periods and personalities, unfolding from Europe to Britain and America, and embracing figures from Goethe to Byron and Emerson. Broad in historical scope, 'Islam and Romanticism' is also specific in personal detail – exposing Islam’s role as a creative catalyst – but also as a spiritual resource, with the Qur’an and Sufi poetry infusing Western literary publications.

Highlighting cultural encounter, rather than political exploitation, the book differs from previous treatments by accenting Western receptions that transcend mere “Orientalism”, finding the genesis of a global literary culture first emerging in the Romantics’ early appeal to Islamic traditions.

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