Thursday, August 13, 2015

Obituary for Patricia Crone

THE TIMES HIGHER: Patricia Crone, 1945-2015. A scholar who transformed our understanding of early Islam has died (MATTHEW REISZ).
In her first book, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (with Michael Cook, 1977), Professor Crone drew on archaeological discoveries and contemporary Aramaic, Armenian, Greek and Syriac sources to cast a critical light on traditional Muslim accounts of the origins of the religion. This led to a view of early Islam as a form of tribal rebellion, deeply linked to Judaism, against the surrounding Byzantine and Persian empires – a controversial interpretation which has been debated and developed ever since.
Background here. And some other recent indications that our understanding of the earliest history of Islam may be due for revision are noted here and links.