Book Reviews / Medieval Encounters 13 (2007) 602-612 605 Mercedes García-Arenal, Messianism and Puritanical Reform: Mahdīs in the Muslim West . Medieval and Early Modern Iberian World, no. 29. Leiden: Brill, 2006. viii, 391 pp. $188.00 (cloth). Th e study by Mercedes García-Arenal about messianic and millenarian religious movements in the context of Islam, and their political conse- quences in the Muslim West is the result of the author’s lifelong interest in the subject of mahdism . Th e changing deﬁnition of a Mahdī—a charis- matic messianic leader within Islam—throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern period is one of the main questions of this book. García- Arenal has made a further eﬀort to gather information about those move- ments carried out in the name of a Mahdī, in an area including the Maghreb al-Aqsā and al-Andalus, from the century of the Arab conquest to the sev- enteenth century CE. To achieve such a broad scope, the author has taken into account the diﬀerences among the circumstances and historical con- texts of the movements concerned, as well as the variations of the ﬁgure of the Mahdī throughout the period. Th e book is therefore conceived as a
Medieval Encounters – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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