Patricia Crone

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Patricia Crone
Patricia-Crone 2013 Courtesy-of-Leiden-University.jpg
Born(1945-03-28)March 28, 1945
DiedJuly 11, 2015(2015-07-11) (aged 70)
Academic work
Main interests Islamic studies; Quranic (Islamic) studies; scriptural exegesis; scholarship on Islamic origins
Notable works Hagarism (with M.A. Cook); Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam

Patricia Crone (March 28, 1945 July 11, 2015) was a Danish-American author, Orientalist, and historian specializing in early Islamic history. [1] Crone was a member of the Revisionist school of Islamic studies and questioned the historicity of the Islamic traditions about the beginnings of Islam. [2]

Oriental studies academic field focus on Asian cultures

Oriental studies is the academic field of study that embraces Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, history and archaeology; in recent years the subject has often been turned into the newer terms of Middle Eastern studies and Asian studies. Traditional Oriental studies in Europe is today generally focused on the discipline of Islamic studies, while the study of China, especially traditional China, is often called Sinology. The study of East Asia in general, especially in the United States, is often called East Asian studies, while the study of Israel and Jews are called Israel studies and Jewish studies respectively, although they are often considered the same field.

The historiography of early Islam refers to the study of the early history of Islam during the 7th century, from Muhammad's first revelations in 610 until the disintegration of the Rashidun Caliphate in 661, and arguably throughout the 8th century and the duration of the Umayyad Caliphate, terminating in the incipient Islamic Golden Age around the beginning of the 9th century.

Islam is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, universal religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.

Contents

Life and career

Crone was born in Kyndeløse Sydmark (south of Kyndeløse) 23 km northwest of Roskilde in Roskilde County, Denmark, on March 28, 1945. [3] After taking the forprøve, or preliminary exam, at University of Copenhagen, she went to Paris to learn French, and then to London where she determined to get into a university to become fluent in English. In 1974 she earned her PhD at the University of London, where she was a senior research fellow at the Warburg Institute until 1977.[ citation needed ] She was accepted as an occasional student at King's College London and followed a course in medieval European history, especially church-state relations. In 1977, Crone became a University Lecturer in Islamic history and a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. Crone became Assistant University Lecturer in Islamic studies and fellow of Gonville and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1990 and held several positions at Cambridge. [4] She served as University Lecturer in Islamic studies from 1992 to 1994, and as Reader in Islamic history from 1994-97. In 1997, she was appointed to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she was named as Andrew W. Mellon Professor. [5] From 2002 until her death in 2015, she was a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Social Evolution & History . [6]

Roskilde Town in Zealand, Denmark

Roskilde, located 30 km (19 mi) west of Copenhagen on the Danish island of Zealand, is the main city in Roskilde Municipality. With a population of 50,046, the city is a business and educational centre for the region and the 10th largest city in Denmark. Roskilde is governed by the administrative council of Roskilde Municipality.

Roskilde County county of Denmark

Roskilde Amt is a former county on the island of Zealand (Sjælland) in eastern Denmark. The county was abolished effective January 1, 2007, when it merged into Region Sjælland.

Denmark Constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

She died on July 11, 2015, aged 70, from cancer. [7]

Research

The major theme of Crone's scholarly life was the fundamental questioning of the historicity of Islamic sources about the beginnings of Islam. Crone's two most known works concentrate on this topic: Hagarism and Meccan Trade. Three decades after Hagarism, Fred Donner called Patricia Crone's work a "milestone" in the field of Orientalist study of Islam. [8]

Fred McGraw Donner is a scholar of Islam and Professor of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago. He has published several books about early Islamic history.

In their book Hagarism (1977), Crone and her associate Michael Cook, working at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London at the time, provided a new analysis of early Islamic history. They fundamentally questioned the historicity of the Islamic traditions about the beginnings of Islam. They tried to produce the picture of Islam's beginnings only from non-Arabic sources. By studying the only surviving contemporary accounts of the rise of Islam, which were written in Armenian, Greek, Aramaic and Syriac by witnesses, they reconstructed a significantly different story of Islam's beginnings, compared with the story known from the Islamic traditions. Crone and Cook claimed to be able to explain exactly how Islam came into being by the fusion of various near eastern civilizations under Arabic leadership. [9] Later, Patricia Crone refrained from this attempt of a detailed reconstruction of Islam's beginnings. [10] Yet she continued to maintain the basic results of her work:

<i>Hagarism</i> book by Patricia Crone

Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World is a 1977 book about the early history of Islam by the historians Patricia Crone and Michael Cook. Drawing on archaeological evidence and contemporary documents in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and Syriac, Crone and Cook depict an early Islam very different from the traditionally-accepted version derived from Muslim historical accounts. Although the central hypotheses behind Hagarism have been generally rejected, even by the authors themselves, the book has been hailed as a seminal work in its branch of Islamic historiography.

Michael Allan Cook FBA is a British historian and scholar of Islamic history.

SOAS, University of London Public research university in London, England

SOAS University of London is a public research university in London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1916, SOAS is located in the heart of Bloomsbury in central London.

In her book Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987), Crone argued that the importance of the pre-Islamic Meccan trade had been grossly exaggerated. Furthermore, she found that Mecca was never part of any of the major ancient trade routes. She also suggested that while Muhammad never traveled much beyond the Hijaz, internal evidence in the Qur'an, such as its description of Muhammad's opponents as "olive growers", might indicate that the events surrounding the Prophet took place near the Mediterranean region, and not in Mecca. [11]

<i>Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam</i> book by Patricia Crone

Meccan Trade And The Rise Of Islam is a book written by scholar and historiographer of early Islam Patricia Crone. The book argues that Islam did not originate in Mecca, located in western Saudi Arabia, but in northern Arabia.

Beginning as a scholar of early military and economic history of the Middle East, Crone's later career focused mainly on "the Qur’an and the cultural and religious traditions of Iraq, Iran, and the formerly Iranian part of Central Asia". [12]

Bibliography

Coauthor

Sole author

Articles

Related Research Articles

Muhammad Founder of Islam

Muhammad was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Ishmael son of Abraham

Ishmael, a figure in the Tanakh and the Quran, was Abraham's first son according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born to Abraham and Sarah's handmaiden Hagar (Hājar). According to the Genesis account, he died at the age of 137.

Battle of Badr battle in the early days of Islam

The Battle of Badr, fought on Tuesday, 13 March 624 CE in the Hejaz region of western Arabia, was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca. The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory attributable to divine intervention, or by secular sources to the strategic genius of Muhammad. It is one of the few battles specifically mentioned in the Quran. All knowledge of the battle at Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, recorded in written form some time after the battle. There is little evidence outside of these of the battle. There are no descriptions of the battle prior to the 9th century.

Military career of Muhammad The wars led by the Prophet Muhammad himself

The military career of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, lasted for the final ten years of his life, from 622 to 632. After he and his small fellowship were pushed out of the holy trading town of Mecca, controlled by the powerful Quraish tribe, he started intercepting Meccan caravans. After his first victory in a pitched battle at Badr in 624, his power grew increasingly and he began to subjugate other tribes through either diplomacy or conquest. In 630 he finally accomplished his long-term goal of conquering Mecca and the Kaaba. By his death in 632, Muhammad had managed to unite most of Arabia, laying the foundation for the subsequent Islamic expansion.

Incense trade route

The Incense trade route included a network of major ancient land and sea trading routes linking the Mediterranean world with eastern and southern sources of incense, spices and other luxury goods, stretching from Mediterranean ports across the Levant and Egypt through Northeastern Africa and Arabia to India and beyond. The incense land trade from South Arabia to the Mediterranean flourished between roughly the 7th century BC and the 2nd century AD. The Incense trade route served as a channel for the trading of goods such as Arabian frankincense and myrrh; from Southeast Asia Indian spices, precious stones, pearls, ebony, silk and fine textiles; and from the Horn of Africa, rare woods, feathers, animal skins, Somali frankincense, and gold.

W. Montgomery Watt Scottish historian

William Montgomery Watt was a Scottish historian, Orientalist, Anglican priest, and academic. From 1964 to 1979, he was Professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Hagarenes, is a term widely used by early Syriac, Greek, Coptic and Armenian sources to describe the early Arab conquerors of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt.

The Teaching of Jacob, is a 7th-century Greek Christian polemical tract set in Carthage in 634 but written in Palestine sometime between 634 and 640. It supposedly records a weeks-long discussion ending on July 13, 634, among Jews who have been forcibly baptized by order of the emperor. One of them, Jacob, has come to believe sincerely in Christianity; he instructs the rest about why they should also sincerely embrace their new faith. Halfway through, a Jewish merchant named Justus arrives and challenges Jacob to a debate. In the end, all of the participants are convinced to embrace Christianity, and Jacob and Justus return east. In addition to several partial Greek manuscripts, the text survives in Latin, Arabic, Ethiopic and Slavonic translations.

Muhammad in Mecca part of Muhammads life in Mecca, traditionally dated as the first 52 years of his life (570–622 CE), prior to leaving for Medina (the Hijra)

The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born and lived in Mecca for the first 52 years of his life. Orphaned early in life, he became known as a prominent merchant, and as an impartial and trustworthy arbiter of disputes. He married his first wife, the wealthy 40-year-old widow Khadijah at the age of 25.

Historicity of Muhammad

While the existence of Muhammad is established by contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous historical records, attempts to distinguish between the historical elements and the unhistorical elements of many of the reports of Muhammad have not been very successful. Hence the historicity of Muhammad, aside from his existence, is debated. The earliest Muslim source of information for the life of Muhammad, the Quran, gives very little personal information and its historicity has been questioned. Next in importance is the sīra literature and hadith, which survive in the historical works of writers from the third, and fourth centuries of the Muslim era. There are also a relatively small number of contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous non-Muslim sources, which confirm the existence of Muhammad and are valuable both in themselves and for comparison with Muslim sources.

<i>Kaaba</i> Building in Mecca: the most sacred site in Islam

The Kaaba (Arabic: كَعْبَة‎ al-kaʿbahIPA: [alˈkaʕba], also referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah, is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām, in the Hejazi city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. It is considered by Muslims to be the Bayt Allāh, and has a similar role to the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies in Judaism. Its location determines the qiblah. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba when performing Salah, the Islamic prayer.

Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams, better known as Abu Sufyan (Arabic: أبو سفيان‎, romanized: Abū Sufyān, was a leader and merchant from the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. In his early career, he often led trade caravans to Syria. He had been among the main leaders of Meccan opposition to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam and member of the Quraysh, commanding the Meccans at the battles of Uhud and the Trench in 625 and 627. However, when Muhammad entered Mecca in 630, Abu Sufyan was among the first to submit and was given a stake in the nascent Muslim state, playing a role at the Battle of Hunayn and the subsequent destruction of the polytheistic sanctuary of al-Lat in Ta'if. After Muhammad's death, he may have been appointed the governor of Najran by Caliph Abu Bakr for an unspecified period. Abu Sufyan later played a supporting role in the Muslim army at the Battle of Yarmouk against the Byzantines in Syria. His sons Yazid and later Mu'awiya were given command roles in that province and the latter went on to establish the Umayyad Caliphate in 661.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Revisionist school of Islamic studies, is a movement within Islamic studies which started in the 1970s and initiated a paradigm shift in Islamic Studies.

Education has played a central role in Islam since early times, owing in part to the centrality of scripture and its study in the Islamic tradition. Before the modern era, education would begin at a young age with study of Arabic and the Quran. Some students would then proceed to training in tafsir and fiqh, which was seen as particularly important. For the first few centuries of Islam, educational settings were entirely informal, but beginning in the 11th and 12th centuries, the ruling elites began to establish institutions of higher religious learning known as madrasas in an effort to secure support and cooperation of the ulema. Madrasas soon multiplied throughout the Islamic world, which helped to spread Islamic learning beyond urban centers and to unite diverse Islamic communities in a shared cultural project. Madrasas were devoted principally to study of Islamic law, but they also offered other subjects such as theology, medicine, and mathematics. Muslims historically distinguished disciplines inherited from pre-Islamic civilizations, such as philosophy and medicine, which they called "sciences of the ancients" or "rational sciences", from Islamic religious sciences. Sciences of the former type flourished for several centuries, and their transmission formed part of the educational framework in classical and medieval Islam. In some cases, they were supported by institutions such as the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, but more often they were transmitted informally from teacher to student. While formal studies in madrasas were open only to men, women of prominent urban families were commonly educated in private settings and many of them received and later issued ijazas (diplomas) in hadith studies, calligraphy and poetry recitation. Working women learned religious texts and practical skills primarily from each other, though they also received some instruction together with men in mosques and private homes.

References

  1. "Library of Congress Authorities". Library of Congress . Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  2. Stille, Alexander (2002-03-02). "Scholars Are Quietly Offering New Theories of the Koran". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  3. Obituary, nytimes.com; accessed July 23, 2015.
  4. "INSTITUTE APPOINTS NEW FACULTY MEMBERS". Archived from the original on December 8, 2004. Retrieved June 20, 2012.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link); "Dr. Crone, who is presently at Cambridge University, will be in residence at the Institute as of the beginning of the fall term in September 1997".
  5. "Institute for Advanced Study: Faculty and Emeriti". Institute for Advanced Study. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007. Crone's work has challenged long-held explanations and provided new approaches for the social, economic, legal and religious patterns that transformed Late Antiquity.
  6. Social Evolution & History website; accessed July 17, 2015.
  7. Profile, Judith Herrin, opendemocracy.net; accessed July 17, 2015.
  8. Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Vol. 40, No. 2 (December 2006), pp. 197-199
  9. Patricia Crone: Hagarism, 1977; pp. 106, 120 ff., and others
  10. Toby Lester: What is the Koran, in: The Atlantic, issue January 1999
  11. Patricia Crone: Hagarism, 1977; p. 24
  12. "Patricia Crone", Institute for Advanced Study
  13. Custers, Martin H. (2016). Al-Ibāḍiyya: A Bibliography, Volume 3 (Second revised and enlarged ed.). Hildesheim-London-N.Y.: Olms Publishing. p. 186.