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Language of Paradise: Protestant Oriental Scholarship and the Discovery of Arabic Poetry

Loop, Jan (2019) Language of Paradise: Protestant Oriental Scholarship and the Discovery of Arabic Poetry. In: Hardy, Nicholas and Levitin, Dmitri, eds. Confessionalisation and Erudition in Early Modern Europe: An Episode in the History of the Humanities. Proceedings of the British Academy . Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-726660-1. (KAR id:71253)


This essay discusses the discovery of Arabic poetry in Western Europe in the context of Protestant Arabic studies of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The piece centres on the work of the Dutch Orientalist Albert Schultens (1686–1750). His interest in Arabic poetry was driven by the idea that it preserves some of the characteristics of the primeval language and that it can help us understand the original meaning of the Hebrew texts of the Bible. The essay argues that in spite of its shortcomings, Schultens’ work is a significant moment in the history of oriental studies. It stimulated an entire generation of young scholars in Protestant Northern Europe; and his comparative study of Semitic languages, his concepts of the primeval language and its transmission as well as his great interest in the poetry of the East still resonate in early Romantic approaches to oriental poetry.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Arabic Studies; Hebrew Studies; Bible; Protestantism; Poetry; Etymology; Linguistics; Enlightenment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Jan Loop
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 10:16 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2021 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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