The Crucible of Islam

Glen Bowersock, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, has authored The Crucible of Islam (Harvard University Press, 2017), which seeks to illuminate the most obscure and yet most dynamic period in the history of Islam—from the mid-sixth to mid-seventh century—exploring why arid Arabia proved to be such fertile ground for Muhammad’s prophetic message, and why that message spread so quickly to the wider world. Though the crucible of Islam remains an elusive vessel, Bowersock offers the most detailed description of its contours and the most compelling explanation of how one of the world’s great religions took shape.