By Wendy Doniger, Kabir, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Transcending divisions of creed, hard social differences of all types, and celebrating person harmony with the divine, the poetry of Kabir is certainly one of ardour and paradox, of mind-bending riddles and exultant riffs. those new translations through Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, certainly one of India’s best modern poets, convey out the richness, wit, and tool of a literary and religious master.

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Thus, they would in turn project the barbarian image onto the representatives of the emerging Latinate civilisation whom they would encounter in the form of crusaders and reconquistadores. But more important than the claim to a higher form of civilisation (urbanism, law, morality and cultural refinement) was that to true religion. True religion could be claimed by the sophisticated urban dweller as well as by the tribesman on the fringes of the emerging Arabicate civilisation. The difference was marked by the non-believer, not by the non-civilised.

22. Corruption of Ibn Ghalbun, a Muslim governor of a Frontier Province in Medieval Spain. 23. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1040–1099), nicknamed ‘El Cid Campeador’ from Arabic al-Sayyid, ‘sir’ or ‘lord’. 24. R. Selden Rose and Leonard Bacon, trans. and eds, The Lay of the Cid (Project Gutenberg). htm (accessed 30 August 2008) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1919). 25. Wheatcroft, Infidels, 136. Islam in Western Europe: Al-Andalus 35 26. The reciprocal attempts between Karl May’s characters Hadschi Halef Omar and Kara ben Nemsi to convert each other to Islam or Christianity, respectively, remained unsuccessful, whereas the last words of the dying Apache Winnetou read: ‘Schar-Iih, I believe in the Saviour.

Ibid. 32. , 153. 33. , 154. 34. , 154f. (emphasis in the original). 35. , 153. 36. , 151. 37. Anwar G. Chejne, Islam and the West, the Moriscos (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983), 13. 38. Hagemann, Christentum contra Islam, 28. 39. Wheatcroft, Infidels, 157f. In the Renaissance courts of Europe, there was a frenetic and uncontrolled dance that came to be called the Moresque or ‘Moorish’ dance. htm [accessed 28 August 2008]). Encounter in the Levant: The Crusades THE CHRISTIAN CONCEPTION OF HOLY WAR had its origin in Augustine’s interpretation of Luke 14:23 ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’ (my emphasis), which was taken to justify ‘robust missionary practices’1 among the pagan Germanic and Slavonic tribes.

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