Abstract

This essay exams the wide range of references to Islam and the Muslim Orient in Leibniz's works, from his earliest references to "Mohammedanism" in the 1660's, through his Egyptian Plan (1671), to extracts from some of his last letters and essays. The article shows the compartmentalization of three separate though porous vocabularies in Leibniz—a theological, political, and philological one—and how each vocabulary reflects a different series of attitudes each time to the faith, followers, and cultures of Islam. The evaporation of the Ottoman threat and an increasingly ethnological/philological interest in the languages and races of the Muslim world, it is suggested, explains a general mellowing of Leibniz's overall attitude to Islam from the beginning of the 1690's onward.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 463-483
Launched on MUSE
2006-07-31
Open Access
No
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