Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 152.4 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
- 15 Apr 2009
- The University of Chicago Press
- University of Chicago Press
- United States
- black & white illustrations
Back cover copy
In Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800, Khaled El-Rouayheb shows that this apparent paradox is based on the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a timeless, self-evident fact to which a particular culture reacts with some degree of tolerance or intolerance. Drawing on poetry, belles lettres, biographical literature, medicine, physiognomy, dream interpretation, and Islamic legal, mystical, and homiletic texts, he shows that the culture of the period lacked the concept of homosexuality. Instead, paramount importance was given to distinctions that are not captured by that term--between active and passive sexual roles, between passionate infatuation and lust, and between penetrative and nonpenetrative intercourse.
The first book-length treatment on the perceptions and evaluations of male homoeroticism in premodern Arab-Islamic culture, this book will become a welcome and frequently referred to addition to the bookshelves of readers interested in the history of sexuality, Islamic history, Arabic literature, gay and lesbian studies, and the history of ideas.
About Khaled El-Rouayheb