Orientalist scholarship

“The impression of the author left by reading Dr. Crone’s work is that of a clever undergraduate at a student debate, intent to win on the points at issue, but neither over-careful in interpreting the historical sources, nor with any scruples at twisting what has already been said, to make it fit her argument. Her book may gain her the publicity it is clearly designed to do, but it will in no way advance our understanding of early Islamic origins.”

Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam: Misconceptions and Flawed Polemics, Review by: R. B. Serjeant, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 110, No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 1990), p. 486.

Categories: History, Islam, Quotation

12 replies

  1. Great quote by Mr. Serjeant. It is clear that the writings of Crone and other revisionist theorists like her, are nothing more than crude attempts at attaining publicity and notoriety. These types of unscrupulous, people don’t seem to be capable of serious efforts at scholarly research. Therefore, it seems the only way these lazy Islamophobes can make a disrespectful living is to increase book sales by jumping on the “bash Islam” bandwagon.

    I am sure Crone and all those like her will be remembered as nothing more than the dishonest losers that they are, and their names will be associated with lies and deceit, so much so that anyone who quotes such revisionist tripe will be ridiculed and laughed out of the room.

    If this is all the Critics of Islam have to “hang their hat on” they must be getting really desperate!!!


  2. Sometimes scholars propose outlandish theories to gain a name. There are some very good scholars though, careful with their sources and not overly concerned with coming out with something new.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And yet you’ve been promoting Kirk recently?

    Consistency has again been left at the door…


  4. ‘I am sure Crone and all those like her will be remembered as nothing more than the dishonest losers that they are…’

    Actually, Crone is remembered as a great scholar by academia.


  5. She was in the Channel 4 documentary Islam: The Untold Story


  6. Crone moderated her views with time and would, in later years, dismiss her earlier work as “juvenalia”. She certainly retained a skeptical and revisionist edge to her scholarship, but later Crone is not nearly as cavalier or iconoclastic in her dismissal of the tradition. Her former colleague Cook has veered even closer in accepting the broad outline of the traditionalist view

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Muhammad,
    I appreciate your comment. However, the problem is that it is far too easy (and tempting) for such pseudo-scholars to put out any old crack-pot theory, and then dismiss their own work as “juvenalia” later, after gaining all the notoriety and fame they crave.. It doesn’t excuse the lack of professional care and discernment to begin with, especially when addressing such a sensitive matter.


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