Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture

December 2009
278 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571134196
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, REL037000, LIT011000

Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture

Edited by James Hodkinson, Jeffrey Morrison

German-language writings about Islam not only reveal much about Islamic culture but also about the European "home" culture.
Islam has been a rich topic in German-language literature since the middle ages, and the writings about it not only reveal much about Islamic culture but also about the European "home" culture. Many of the early essays in this chronologically arranged volume uncover fresh evidence of how German writers used images of Islam-as-other to define their individual subject positions as well as to define the German nation and the Christian religion. The perspectives of many contemporary writers are, however, far removed from such a polar opposition of cultures. Their experience of the German-Islamic encounter is complicated by a crucial factor: many of them emerge from Muslim migrant communities such as the German-Turkish community. The culturally hybrid origins of these writers and their expression of experiences and ideologies that cross boundaries of East and West, Christendom and Islam, strongly affect the findings of the essays as the volume moves toward the present. The texts discussed include travelogues and other firsthand encounters with Islam; reports for colonial authorities; aesthetic treatises on Islamic art; literary, essayistic, and theological writing on Islamic religious practice; the incorporation of characters, situations, and settings from the Islamic world into fiction or drama; and fictional and autobiographical writing by Muslims in German.

Contributors: Cyril Edwards, Silke Falkner, James Hodkinson, Timothy R. Jackson, Margaret Littler, Rachel MagShamráin, Frauke Matthes, Yomb May, Jeffrey Morrison, Kate Roy, Monika Shafi, Edwin Wieringa, W. Daniel Wilson, Karin E. Yesilada.

James Hodkinson is Assistant Professor of German at Warwick University; Jeffrey Morrison is Senior Lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - James R. Hodkinson and Jeffrey Morrison
"cristen, ketzer, heiden, jüden": Questions of Identity in the Middle Ages - Timothy Richard Jackson
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Islam, and the Crusades - Cyril Edwards
Perverted Spaces: Boundary Negotiations in Early-Modern Turcica - Silke R. Falkner
Enlightenment Encounters in the Islamic and Arabic Worlds: The German "Missing Link" in Said's Orientalist Narrative (Meiners and Herder) - W. Daniel Wilson
Goethe, Islam, and the Orient: The Impetus for and Mode of Cultural Encounter in the West-östlicher Divan - Yomb May
Moving beyond the Binary? Christian-Islamic Encounters and Gender in the Thought and Literature of German Romanticism - James R. Hodkinson
Forms of Encounter with Islam around 1800: The Cases of Johann Hermann von Riedesel and Johann Ludwig Burckhardt - Jeffrey Morrison
Displacing Orientalism: Ottoman Jihad, German Imperialism, and the Armenian Genocide - Rachel MagShamhráin
German-Islamic Literary Interperceptions in Works by Emily Ruete and Emine Sevgi Özdamar - Katherine Margaret Roy
Dialogues with Islam in the Writings of (Turkish-)German Intellectuals: A Historical Turn? - Karin Yesilada
Michaela Mihriban Özelsel's Pilgrimage to Mecca: A Journey to Her Inner Self - Edwin Paul Wieringa
Intimacies both Sacred and Profane: Islam in the Work of Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Zafer Senocak, and Feridun Zaimoglu - Margaret Littler
Encountering Islam at Its Roots: Ilija Trojanow's Zu den heiligen Quellen des Islam - Frauke Matthes
The Lure of the Loser: On Hans Magnus Enzensberger's Schreckens Männer and Ian Buruma's Murder in Amsterdam - Monika Shafi
Notes on Contributors


This important essay collection will be an essential reference-point for all those examining the increasing presence of Islam in German culture. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

Leads to the fundamental and still unresolved question whether there can be cultural understanding beyond religious boundary lines. . . . The editors and many of the contributors fix their scholarly gazes on the Orient and Islam and the different ways they have been portrayed in literature in such a way that the reader understands that only a conception of Orient and Islam in terms of multiple images merits scholarly study. GERMAN QUARTERLY

[E]xcellent. . . . This important essay collection will be an essential reference-point for all those examining the increasing presence of Islam in German culture. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW [Ritchie Robertson]

This welcome volume opens up ground that has seldom been explored in this depth before. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

[A] useful addition to German Studies. MONATSHEFTE

[T]his volume explores a wide range of Germanophone encounters with Islam across a variety of genres, and is without a doubt an important contribution to scholarship on modes of engagement with Islam and the Muslim worlds in German literature and culture. GERMANISTIK IN IRELAND

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