The Enlightenment of the 18th and 19th centuries, when science and rationality began to replace religion in understandings of the world, is often thought of as a European phenomenon.
Christopher de Bellaigue’s new book challenges this preconception, demonstrating that dogmas were similarly challenged and new worlds imagined across the Middle East as well as the West. Christopher reveals the hidden histories of modernising sultans and proto-feminists, uncovering the exchanges of goods and ideas between east and west that constitute the early history of globalisation. Yet he also shows the darker side to this history, revealing the forces of reaction that sought to repress new ideas that endangered the status-quo.
Event Chair Ehsan Masood, journalist and broadcaster joins Christopher as he launches The Islamic Enlightenment and discusses this exciting new book.