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The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of EPISTLE 22 (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of EPISTLE 22 (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity).pdf | Language: English

This is a new English translation of a classic of medieval Islamic learning, which illuminates the intellectual debates of its age and speaks vividly to the concerns of our own. It is the most famous work of the Brethren of Purity, a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad. In this rich allegorical fable the exploited and oppressed animals pursue a case against humanity. They are granted the gift of speech and presented as subjects with views and interests of their own. Over the course of the hearing they rebuke and criticise human weakness, deny man's superiority, and make powerful demands for greater justice and respect for animals. This sophisticated moral allegory combines elements of satire with a thought-provoking thesis on animal welfare. Goodman and McGregory accompany their translation with an introduction and annotations that explore the rich historical and cultural context to the work.

"The language of the translation is lively.... The work raises high expectations for future editions of the remaining epistles."--Philosophy in Review Lenn E. Goodman is Professor of Philosophy and Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.Richard McGregor is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Islamic Studies at Vanderbilt University.

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Book details

  • PDF | 696 pages
  • OUP in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies; Bilingual edition (April 19, 2010)
  • English
  • 5
  • New, Used & Rental Textbooks

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Review Text

  • By Terri on November 9, 2013

    We already know that animals have suffered under the yolk of humans for millennia. In this lovely translation of the medieval animal fable, both the animals (in various groupings of mammal tribes, birds, etc.) and humans send their respective representatives to the court of the divine Jinn for arbitration. The arguments on both sides are compelling, and the King and court of the Jinn deliver amazing insight into the proceedings, with a surprising final verdict. The footnotes are clear and very detailed and worth referencing while reading the story.This has been translated from the original Arabic of the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity (Rasa'il Ikhwan as-Safa) and the translation has done the story justice. An excellent read for those who love animals, humans and the Jinn.

  • By Guest on July 17, 2014

    A good English translation with commentary. On Amazon, however, it's also sold as an "Arabic critical edition," which it isn't. Amazon should change this misleading heading.


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