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Publication of "From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity and Politics after the Arab Conquest" by Maged S. A. Mikhail (January 2015)

Publication of "From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity and (…)

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The author

Maged S. A. Mikhail obtained a PhD in the History of the Near and Middle East from the University of California, Los Angeles, for which he received an Honourable Mention for the Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award from the Middle East Studies Association of North America.
He currently teaches at California State University, Fullerton.


The conquest of Egypt by Islamic armies under the command of Amr ibn al-As in the seventh century transformed medieval Egyptian society. Seeking to uncover the broader cultural changes of the period by drawing on a wide array of literary and documentary sources, Maged Mikhail stresses the cultural and institutional developments that punctuated the histories of Christians and Muslims in the province under early Islamic rule. From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt traces how the largely agrarian Egyptian society responded to the influx of Arabic and Islam, the means by which the Coptic Church constructed its sectarian identity, the Islamisation of the administrative classes and how these factors converged to create a new medieval society. The result is a fascinating and essential study for scholars of Byzantine and early Islamic Egypt.



CHAPTER ONE Charting the Course
CHAPTER TWO The Conquest: Event, Text, and Memory
CHAPTER THREE Christian Elites: The Dialectic of Duty and Faith
CHAPTER FIVE Language, Identity, and Assimilation
CHAPTER SIX The Long Eighth Century: A Cultural Bridge
CHAPTER SEVEN Muslim Elites, Urban Administration, and Rural Justice
CHAPTER EIGHT Metamorphosis of the Muslim Community
CHAPTER NINE Ideologies and Jurisdictions
CHAPTER TEN A Church and Community in Transition
CHAPTER ELEVEN Polemics and the Construction of Communal Identities
CHAPTER TWELVE Webs of significance