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Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim Societies

Understanding the Past

Edited by Sarah Bowen Savant, Helena de Felipe

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Published in Association with the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

Explores the generation, preservation and manipulation of genealogical knowledge

From the Prophet's family tree to the present, ideas about kinship and descent have shaped communal and national identities in Muslim societies. So an understanding of genealogy is therefore vital to our understanding of Muslim societies, particularly with regard to the generation, preservation and manipulation of genealogical knowledge.

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About the Author

Sarah Bowen Savant is a historian of religion and an Associate Professor at the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations in London. Her publications include The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion (Cambridge University Press, 2013), as well as book chapters and journal articles treating early Islamic history and historiography.

Helena de Felipe is Lecturer at the Universidad de Alcalá (Arabic and Islamic Studies). Her publications include Identidad y onomástica de los bereberes de al-Andalus (CSIC, 1997) and, co-edited with F. Rodríguez Mediano, El Protectorado español en Marruecos: Gestión colonial e identidades (CSIC, 2002). She is the author of articles and book chapters on Berbers in the medieval period and the Spanish-Moroccan relationship in the colonial period.


'Sarah Bowan Savant and Helena de Felipe have collected an excellent series of chapters in this volume, which considers the diverse role that genealogy has played and the uses it has been put to in Muslim societies...The articles collected here move across a wide geographic area of the Muslim world. Syria, Iran, al-Andalus, the Maghreb and other regions are considered. The chronological range of the articles is also considerable, going from the very first decades of Islam to the close of the twentieth century. By providing such a broad spectrum, the book has quite a lot to offer to the reader and allows for an extensive comparison of the notions of genealogy and the uses to which it has been put.'
- Stephen Donnachie, University of Swansea, Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean

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