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Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, "Merits of the Plague" (Penguin, 2023)

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Six hundred years ago, the author of this landmark work of history and religious thought—an esteemed judge, poet, and scholar in Cairo—survived the bubonic plague, which took the lives of three of his children, not to mention tens of millions of others throughout the medieval world. Holding up an eerie mirror to our own time, he reflects on the origins of plagues—from those of the Prophet Muhammad’s era to the Black Death of his own—and what it means that such catastrophes could have been willed by God, while also chronicling the fear, isolation, scapegoating, economic tumult, political failures, and crises of faith that he lived through. But in considering the meaning of suffering and mass death, he also offers a message of radical hope. Weaving together accounts of evil jinn, religious stories, medical manuals, death-count registers, poetry, and the author’s personal anecdotes, Merits of the Plague (Penguin, 2023), translated by Joel Blecher and Mairaj Syed, is a profound reminder that with tragedy comes one of the noblest expressions of our humanity: the practice of compassion, patience, and care for those around us.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 - 1449) was an Islamic poet, scholar and judge. Born in modern day Egypt, in his lifetime al-Asqalani authored some 150 works of history, poetry and biography, as well as many influential treatises on Islamic jurisprudence.

Joel Blecher is Associate Professor of History at the George Washington University in Washington

Mairaj Syed is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the director of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at UC Davis.

Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.

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1129 episoder

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Manage episode 410144950 series 2999972
Indhold leveret af New Books Network. Alt podcastindhold inklusive episoder, grafik og podcastbeskrivelser uploades og leveres direkte af New Books Network eller deres podcastplatformspartner. Hvis du mener, at nogen bruger dit ophavsretligt beskyttede værk uden din tilladelse, kan du følge processen beskrevet her https://da.player.fm/legal.

Six hundred years ago, the author of this landmark work of history and religious thought—an esteemed judge, poet, and scholar in Cairo—survived the bubonic plague, which took the lives of three of his children, not to mention tens of millions of others throughout the medieval world. Holding up an eerie mirror to our own time, he reflects on the origins of plagues—from those of the Prophet Muhammad’s era to the Black Death of his own—and what it means that such catastrophes could have been willed by God, while also chronicling the fear, isolation, scapegoating, economic tumult, political failures, and crises of faith that he lived through. But in considering the meaning of suffering and mass death, he also offers a message of radical hope. Weaving together accounts of evil jinn, religious stories, medical manuals, death-count registers, poetry, and the author’s personal anecdotes, Merits of the Plague (Penguin, 2023), translated by Joel Blecher and Mairaj Syed, is a profound reminder that with tragedy comes one of the noblest expressions of our humanity: the practice of compassion, patience, and care for those around us.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 - 1449) was an Islamic poet, scholar and judge. Born in modern day Egypt, in his lifetime al-Asqalani authored some 150 works of history, poetry and biography, as well as many influential treatises on Islamic jurisprudence.

Joel Blecher is Associate Professor of History at the George Washington University in Washington

Mairaj Syed is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the director of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at UC Davis.

Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  continue reading

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