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The six volumes of A historical past of the Crusades will stand because the definitive background of the Crusades, spanning 5 centuries, encompassing Jewish, Moslem, and Christian views, and containing a wealth of knowledge and research of the background, politics, economics, and tradition of the medieval global
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Extra resources for A History of the Crusades, Vol. 3: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
94 Muruwwa proceeds along these lines to give an account of Arab thought, beginning in preIslamic Arabia and moving Page 37 through the rise of Islam to the advent of the caliphates of the Rashidun, the Umayyads and the 'Abbasids, discussing the intellectual content of the ArabIslamic theological, philosophical and Sufi discourse of the various schools and sects as an embodiment of the changing societal conditions, but also always allowing thought a certain measure of relative autonomy with regard to political, social and economic factors.
But there was now an urgent new need to reassess the past in the light of pressing new issues and events. All of these are anguished writers concerned for the Arab future: they study the past in order to rehabilitate the present and suggest ways of achieving a better tomorrow. 60 His interpretation in it of the prevailing Arab culture as rooted in the dominant ArabIslamic heritage is one of the sharpest and most daring indictments of Arab culture in modern times. Adonis argues that the mentality (dhihniyya) which has dominated and oriented Arab life, being that of those historically in power, had four characteristics.
The relative autonomy of thought in these societal matters exhibited itself in the manner in which the Mu'tazila conceptualized the issue at hand and developed it into a general abstract doctrine about the grave sinner, rather than keeping it particularized in specific persons or times. He accepts the influence of external factors on the Mu'tazila, such as Greek, Persian or Indian thought and Christian theology, but he shows how the necessities of the internal factors shaped their doctrines by a process of innovative assimilation that responded to the perceived needs of their own Muslim society.