Marshall Hodgson

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Marshall Goodwin Simms Hodgson (April 11, 1922 – June 10, 1968), was an Islamic Studies academic and a world historian at the University of Chicago. He was chairman of the interdisciplinary Committee on Social Thought in Chicago. He was also a practicing Quaker.

Hodgson was the author of the three-volume The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization. Though he did not publish extensively during his lifetime, he has become arguably the most influential American historian of Islam due to his magisterial The Venture of Islam; Conscience and History in a World Civilization. The work is universally recognized as a masterpiece that has radically reconfigured the academic study of Islam and the Civilization of Muslims. Albert Hourani, " The Venture of Islam…Journal of Near Eastern Studies vol. 37, 1978; pp53-62. In addition to this, his modern importance also rests with his work on world history, which remained relatively unnoticed during his lifetime. Much of it was rediscovered and subsequently published through the efforts of Edmund Burke III of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

In The Venture of Islam Hodgson reimagined the terminology and focus of Islamic history and religion: He critiqued terms like tradition for ḥadith and Islamic Law for sharīʿah. The focus on the Arab world that had characterized the Euro-American study of Islam was also rethought by Hodgson who argued that it was the Persianate world (his...
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