This book is a theory-informed, comparative and historical exploration of the notion of the public sphere within Western and Islamic traditions. It situates the emergence of the modern public sphere in a wider historical and theoretical context than usually done in conventional analyses. The work traces cross-cutting genealogies spanning conventional borders between tradition and modernity, and in particular between the Western and the Islamic world. This approach unsettles received, evolutionary views of the public sphere as an exclusive legacy of Western political cultures. The public sphere is finally reconceived as a complex platform for the modern cultivation of culturally diverse, competing, yet intersecting discourses.