Article

Early Islam as a Late Antique Religion

Robert Hoyland

in The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780195336931
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195336931.013.0032

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Early Islam as a Late Antique Religion

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This article explores the characteristics of early Islam in Late Antiquity. Two approaches have emerged to conceptualize the rise and formation of Islam—either as a child of Late Antiquity, conceived and nourished wholly by the late antique world; or as a force that was formed outside the late antique world (in Arabia) from outside (Arabian) ingredients and only entered that world once it was fairly well developed and so was only marginally influenced by it. The latter view, the "out of Arabia" approach, is the traditional Muslim one and it is accepted by most Western scholars. However, the former view, the "born of Late Antiquity" approach, is gaining support, particularly among late antique historians, since it widens the scope of their field to include a new geographical region, a new religious phenomenon, and a longer span of time.

Keywords: early Islam; religion; Late Antiquity; Arabia; Middle East

Article.  11575 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Religion in the Ancient World

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