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Terrains of ExchangeReligious Economies of Global Islam$
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Nile Green

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190222536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190222536.001.0001

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The Christian Origins of Muslim Printing

The Christian Origins of Muslim Printing

(p.67) 2 The Christian Origins of Muslim Printing
Terrains of Exchange

Nile Green

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the origins of printing among Muslims to interactions with Christian missionaries in the early nineteenth century. Using case studies from Iran, Egypt and India, as well as further reference to early Muslim printing in Malaya, Singapore and the Ottoman Empire, the chapter shows how Christian evangelical attempts to print the Bible in many Islamic languages inadvertently resulted in the diffusion of printing skills among Muslims. Taking place against the backdrop of European colonial expansion in the first half of the nineteenth century, the spread of print technology to Muslims enabled a massive expansion of Islamic religious productivity. As a classic example of religious competition, adaptation and innovation, the process of exchange that led to the birth of Muslim printing is analyzed through the rubric of religious economy.

Keywords:   Islam, Christianity, printing, communications, technology, evangelicalism, missionaries, empire, religion, translation

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