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Rediscovering the Islamic ClassicsHow Editors and Print Culture Transformed an Intellectual Tradition$
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Ahmed El Shamsy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174563

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174563.001.0001

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(p.236) Conclusion
Rediscovering the Islamic Classics

Ahmed El Shamsy

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter tracks the developments in Arabo-Islamic print culture beginning in the mid-twentieth century. It remarks on some features of postclassical thought which were common enough to mark the era's scholarship in distinct and recognizable ways. It is likely that they contributed, together with the decline of educational institutions and libraries, to the decreasing availability of classical works in the Arabic-speaking world, which further constrained intellectual production by reducing the resources at scholars' disposal. In their righteous zeal, the reformists may well have exaggerated the intellectual weaknesses of their age, but the sincerity of the feeling of liberation and optimism with which they reached into the classical tradition for tonics for present maladies should not be doubted. From there, the chapter turns to more contemporary times and the major technological strides which herald a new renaissance for classical literature.

Keywords:   postclassicism, Orientalism, Arabo-Islamic literature, classical literature, classical tradition, Internet

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