LEWIS, BERNARD (1916– ), British-born historian of Islamic studies. Lewis received his Ph.D. from the University of London (1939), then served in the British army and was attached later to a department of the Foreign Office. He was professor of history of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London (1949–1974). Subsequently, he was appointed professor in the Cleveland E. Dodge Chair of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study. He retired from Princeton and the ias in 1986.
Lewis received many academic prizes and was awarded 15 honorary degrees. His studies have been translated into more than 25 languages. Most deal with Islamic history, chiefly Arab and Turkish, although he also translated poetry from Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, and Persian into English and served as editor of the second edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam. Among his numerous books are The Arabs in History (1950); The Emergence of Modern Turkey (1961); The Muslim Discovery of Europe (1982); The Jews of Islam (1984); Semites and Antisemites (1986); The Political Language of Islam (1988); Islam and the West (1993); Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Age of Discovery (1995); The Multiple Identities of the Middle East (1998); Music from a Distant Drum (2001); What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (2002); The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (2003); and From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East (2004).
M. Kramer, "Introduction" to The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis (ed. M. Kramer; 1999); "Lewis, Bernard," in: Encyclopaedia of Historians and Historical Writing (1999), i, 719–20.
[Norman Itzkowitz /
Jacob M. Landau (2nd ed.)]