Journal of Islamic Studies 31 (2):226-255 (2020)

Ahmad Khan
Jordan University of Science and Technology
This article documents the existence of a vibrant republic of letters stretching from Cairo to Karachi in the middle of the twentieth century. On the basis of private letters, memoirs, and modern editions of classical texts, this article recreates the scholarly and personal commitments of a new class of professional editors. These editors were responsible for the emergence of some of the most influential publishing houses in the Islamic world, and their contribution to the production and circulation of pre-modern texts has had a profound impact on the intellectual development of Islam in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. They believed that cultivating a republic of letters was necessary because it served the world of learning and scholarship. In this way was fashioned a virtual community, separated by national and political borders, but united by visions of history and a shared sense of moral and intellectual duty.
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DOI 10.1093/jis/etaa014
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