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Chapter Summary

When Christianity took over from the Greek and Roman world and created the Western “Middle Ages,” the concept of knowledge relinquished whatever privileged position it occupied in the Ancient World. Knowledge was cultivated, and wisdom cherished, but the medieval mind was not moved by any magic spell emanating from the word “knowledge” or a belief in its unsurpassed religious and worldly merit. Islam may be compared or contrasted with the civilizations of Classical Antiquity and the Christian West. At the same time, however, these three are branches of the very same tree. In particular, they share the same roots of “knowledge.” Chinese philosophy has attempted to give formal and abstract definitions of knowledge, although this appears to have been done only on quite rare occasions.

Keywords: knowledge; Medieval Islam; Muslim civilization



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