George Makdisi, who died in 2002, was one of the towering figures of Islamic Studies in the twentieth century. Although his legacy has been contested by some social historians who argue that he saw far too much structure and uniformity in medieval Islamic law and legal education, he nevertheless set out the debate on medieval education in a way that had not been attempted before. His main contribution was the comparison of medieval Muslim institutions such as the madhhab and the madrasa with analogous institutions in medieval Europe. These comparative studies, as Edward Peters argues in his preface to the feschrift dedicated to Makdisi, were groundbreaking in scope. Few before or after Makdisi have shared his range and comparative focus. Makdisi had a small number of close...

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