Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Al-Jā-hiẓIn Praise of Books$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Montgomery

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748683321

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683321.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The Book of Living

The Book of Living

Chapter:
(p.53) Part 2 The Book of Living (p.54)
Source:
Al-Jā-hiẓ
Author(s):

James E. Montgomery

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683321.003.0003

Al-Jāḥiẓ wrote The Book of Living in response to these apocalyptic expectations and social concerns. The enterprise began as an attempt to fulfil a moral imperative — the need to thank God for His creation by producing a comprehensive inventory of it. The production of such an inventory involved the proper application of the special gift which God had given to man: the reasoning intellect. Al-Jāḥiẓ sought to codify his inventory in the form of a totalising book. Yet the process was paradoxical: in order to write it, al-Jā?i? had somehow to become the ideal writer. Al-Jā?i? was also required to fashion an audience of ideal readers able to read and respond to such a book. He produced possibly the longest, and probably the most complex, book written in Arabic at the time.

Keywords:   Books and society, Ideal writers and readers, Forms of dissemination of knowledge, History of the early Arabic book

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.