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The Kharijites in Early Islamic Historical TraditionHeroes and Villains$
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Hannah-Lena Hagemann

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474450881

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450881.001.0001

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Sources, Genre, Authorship

Sources, Genre, Authorship

(p.24) Sources, Genre, Authorship
The Kharijites in Early Islamic Historical Tradition

Hannah-Lena Hagemann

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the sources selected for this study, mainly chronicles and biographical accounts from the 9th-10th century CE, and provides some background information on these works and their authors. This is followed by a brief excursus into questions of literary genre, which is a difficult subject when it comes to the early Islamic tradition both because of anachronistic modern understandings of ‘genre’ dominating the discussion and because of the particularities of early Islamic scholarship and knowledge production. The chapter argues that genre in early Islamic writerly culture is best, if loosely, regarded as a particular mode of framing narrative material that influenced the selection and ordering of otherwise widely shared material, but was in no way sharply delineated from other such frames. Finally, the chapter looks at how best to approach early Islamic authorship, utilising a range of perspectives developed in other disciplines to suggest a model of pre-modern authorship that emphasises collective rather than individual efforts.

Keywords:   Chronicles, Biographical accounts, 9th century, 10th century, Genre, Islamic tradition, Islamic scholarship, Scholarship, Knowledge production, Authorship

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