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Cosmopolitanism is a key concept in social and political thought, standing in opposition to closed human group ideologies such as tribalism, nationalism and fundamentalism. Much recent discussion of this concept has been situated within Western self-perceptions, with little inclusion of information from Muslim contexts.

This volume redresses the balance by focusing attention on instances in world history when cosmopolitan ideas and actions pervaded specific Muslim societies and cultures, exploring the tensions between regional cultures, isolated enclaves and modern nation-states. Models are chosen from four geographic areas: The Swahili coast, the Ottoman empire/Turkey, Iran and Indo-Pakistan.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts, Derryl N. MacLean;
  • 2. Freeborn Villagers: Islam and the Local Uses of Cosmopolitan Connections in the Tanzanian Countryside, Felicitas Becker;
  • 3. Interrogating ‘Cosmopolitanism’ in an Indian Ocean Setting: Thinking Through Mombasa on the Swahili Coast, Kai Kresse;
  • 4. Translators of Empire: Colonial Cosmopolitanism, Ottoman Bureaucrats and the Struggle over the Governance of Yemen, 1898–1914, Thomas Kuehn;
  • 5. Islampolis, Cosmopolis: Ottoman Urbanity Between Myth, Memory and Postmodernity, Ariel Salzmann;
  • 6. Cosmopolitan Cursing in Late-Nineteenth Century Alexandria, Will Hanley;
  • 7. Kebabs and Port Wine: The Culinary Cosmopolitanism of Anglo-Persian Dining, 1800–1835, Nile Green;
  • 8. Abdur Rahman Chughtai: Cosmopolitan Mughal Aesthetic in the Age of Print, Iftikhar Dadi;
  • 9. Cosmopolitanism and Authenticity: The Doctrine of Tashabbuh Bi’l-Kuffar (‘Imitating the Infidel’) in Modern South Asian Fatwas, Muhammad Khalid Masud;
  • About the Contributors.

Publication Information

Aga Khan University-ISMC; Edinburgh University Press, 2012


Exploring Muslim Contexts




9780748644568, 9780748689859


Exploring Muslim contexts

Volume 4: Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts : Perspectives from the Past