New in paperback
A History of the Jews of Arabia
From Ancient Times to Their Eclipse under Islam
Gordon Darnell Newby
“A daring venture . . . because of its attempt at reconstructing the history of a onceimportant but little-known group based on very sparse data.”—Religious Studies Review
“The Jews of Arabia maintained a thriving, vital Diaspora community for centuries.
While Muhammad was spreading Islam around Medina in the seventh century, there
were Arabian Jewish merchants, poets, pastoral nomads, farmers, sculptors, and warriors. One of the findings of this scholarly synthesis is that Arabian Jewry influenced
Muhammad’s developing vision of his prophetic mission. . . . By identifying a body of
shared experiences of Jews and Muslims, Newby’s study gives hope for peaceful coexistence in the Middle East.”—Publishers Weekly
The Jewish communities of Arabia had a great influence on the attitudes that Muslims
hold toward Jews, and yet relatively little has been written about their history. Through
techniques borrowed from anthropology, literary criticism, sociology, and comparative
religion, Gordon Darnell Newby reconstructs the understanding of Jewish life in Arabia
before and during the time of Muhammad. In addition this material is used to develop
a perspective on the interconfessional relations between Judaism and Islam during an
era when the latter was at one of its most dynamic stages of growth.
Studies in Comparative Religion • Frederick M. Denny, series editor
September 2009, 192 pages, 1 illus.
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Gordon Darnell Newby is the chair of
the Department of Middle Eastern and
South Asian Studies at Emory University and a professor in the graduate
program of West and South Asian religions. His books include The Making of
the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction of the
Earliest Biography of Muhammad and A
Concise Encyclopedia of Islam.
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