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Gallego, María Angeles, Bleaney, Heather and García Suárez, Pablo (éd.) Bibliography of Jews in the Islamic World (Brill, 2010)

Sabine Schmidtke
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Gallego, María Angeles, Bleaney, Heather and García Suárez, Pablo (éd.) Bibliography of Jews in the Islamic World, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2010, xvi + 524 p., ISBN : 9789004170575.

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1The cultural and intellectual history of non-Muslim communities in the Islamicate world and the multiple encounters between the representatives of the various denominations have received enhanced scholarly attention over the past decade. Apart from the numerous thriving book series devoted to non-Muslims under Muslim rule, mention should be made of various major publication projects such as the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (ed. Norman A. Stillman et al., Leiden, Brill, 2010), the Bibliographia Karaitica (Barry Dov Walfish with Mikhail Kizilov, Leiden, Brill, 2010) or the multivolume History of Christian-Muslim Relations (ed. David Thomas et al., Leiden, Brill, 2009-). The publication under review reflects this increased scholarly interest. The overall arrangement of the entries in this bibliographical reference work is modeled on that of the Index Islamicus, and the book concludes with indices of subjects and authors further assisting the user in tracing material throughout the volume. Understandably yet regrettably, the editors had to make some decisions as to what to include in the volume or to leave out. The major flaw to my mind is the decision to focus on journal articles at the expense of books. In the section devoted to “Jewish-Muslim polemics” (p. 35 sq.), for example, only three books are listed and one searches in vain for standard works such as Moritz Steinschneider’s Polemische und apologetische Literatur in arabischer Sprache, zwischen Muslimen, Christen und Juden (Leipzig, F. A. Brockhaus, 1877), Hava Lazarus-Yafeh’s Intertwined Worlds: Medieval Islam and Bible Criticism (Princeton, N. J., Princeton University Press, 1992), or Camilla Adang’s Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm (Leiden, Brill, 1996) (Adang’s book is included, however, in the section devoted to “Jewish-Muslim relations and interaction”, p. 27, no 733). The editors’ decision not to include publications in Arabic or Persian and only some in Russian, likewise involves major drawbacks. Jewish (and former Jewish) thinkers whose works were published primarily in the Muslim world, such as Abu al-Barakāt al-Baġdādī (d. 1164 CE), Samawʾal al-Maġribī (d. 1174-5) or Ibn Kammūna (d. after 1283), are hardly included as a result. Astonishingly enough, Moshe Perlmann’s edition and translation of Ibn Kammūna’s Tanqīḥ al-abḥāṯ li-l-milal al-ṯalāṯ have also been omitted. Another important lacuna are the important publications by Andrej Jakovlevic Borisov on some of the materials of the Abraham Firkovitch collection, most of which have been reprinted in Pravoslavniy Palestinskiy Sbornik 99 (36), 2002, a publication that has been discussed in detail by Alexander Treiger in his “Andrei Iakovlevic Borisov (1903–1942) and his studies of medieval Arabic philosophy” (Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 17/1, 2007, p. 159-195) that is not included either. Despite these shortcomings, the Bibliography of Jews in the Islamic World is a rich and indispensible resource for scholars of the history and culture of Jews in Islamic lands.

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Sabine Schmidtke, « Gallego, María Angeles, Bleaney, Heather and García Suárez, Pablo (éd.) Bibliography of Jews in the Islamic World (Brill, 2010) »Bulletin d’études orientales [En ligne], Comptes rendus d’ouvrages d’Histoire, mis en ligne le 05 décembre 2012, consulté le 18 août 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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Sabine Schmidtke

Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Freie Universität Berlin

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