Space, Holiness and Time: Palestine in the Classical Arab Centuries

  • Derek Hopwood
Part of the St Antony’s book series


It is under three main headings that I would like to evoke some eight hundred and eighty years of the history of Palestine, from c. ad 638 to 1516. These three headings I call (1) the texture of space, (2) the texture of holiness and (3) the texture of time. For the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, Palestine is a state of mind, a nostalgia, a homesickness, as much as it is a land with a history. All three monotheisms have attempted to lift the land above history, to endow it with a timeless radiance, to the point where the historian is drawn, almost insensibly, to abandon the normal tools of the historical craft and to follow these religions on their long pilgrimages to Palestine. Put more simply, the history of Palestine may best be apprehended, perhaps, within the patterns of centuries, where geography is as much visionary as it is real, where holiness is as often renewed as it is revealed and where history is a metronome as much as it is a time-piece.


Ninth Century Arab Century Rice Porridge Power Bloc Islamic View 
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Copyright information

© St. Antony’s College 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Hopwood
    • 1
  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordUK

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