Islamic Enlightenment? To look at the Middle East's current movements of fundamentalist revival, you might think it never happened. In fact, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has been transformed by modern ideals and practices, and the retreat of religion under a wave of secular knowledge defined by rationalism.

Who were the scholars, scientists, artists and administrators who brought about these remarkable changes-from the adoption of modern medicine to the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy-and and is their legacy now under threat from a burgeoning counter-Enlightenment? Spanning more than 200 years of Middle Eastern history, and encompassing the Arab, Turkish and Persian worlds, the Islamic Enlightenment describes the collision of an ancient civilisation with new ways of living in the world.  

The Islamic Enlightenment comes out in the UK in February 2017 and in April 2017 in the United States.  

     NEWS, Articles and appearances 

  • My forthcoming book, The Islamic Enlightenment: the Struggle between Faith and Reason, comes out in the UK in February 2017 and in the US in April 2017
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan is perhaps the world's most successful politician. My Guardian Long Read explains why. Read More 
  • Click here for the podcast of my Erdogan Long Read in the Guardian.
  • Patricia Crone (1945-2015) was an exceptional scholar and her Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran will be read for decades to come. Read More 
  • Why sanctions haven't really been lifted in Iran. Read More 
  • Nice has tilted France towards fascism. Read More 
  • Eton's magic touch - inside the poshest school in the world. Read More
  • Family life in Paris - Jacques Audiard's Dheepan Read More
  • The problem of radicalisation in France is an existential one.       Read more 
  • How is France going to solve its prison radicalisation problem? My Guardian Long Read piece explains. Read more 
  • Qajar snaps: a confrontation, in New York, between the wet collodion method and the writ of kings. Read more 
  • Twenty-two summers ago I fell for Blur while homesick in New Delhi. Read more
  • 'Not Like Argo' - the travails of being a tour guide in Iran, for which I won a 2015 Foreign Press Award. Read more 

Follow Christopher on Twitter: @bellaigueC