This chapter discusses the reception of Thomas More’s Utopia in Arabic from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. Thomas More was initially seen by Arab Christians as a Catholic martyr. During the Arab Nahda (‘Revival’) movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, his Utopia was then received as a forerunner of socialism and technological modernity, and interpreted in the shadow, notably, of Marxism and H. G. Wells. Utopia was also placed alongside the Virtuous City of the earlier Islamic philosopher al-Farabi, feeding into a renewed interest in local and religious cultural forms. Finally, notions of dystopia as well as utopia have played a role in interpreting Arab politics in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as utopian aspirations—most evident in the 2011 Arab uprisings—have contended with social crisis, authoritarianism, and violence.
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