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Contemporary Issues in Islam (Paperback)
  • Contemporary Issues in Islam (Paperback)
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Contemporary Issues in Islam (Paperback)

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£24.99
Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 31/08/2015
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This book discusses key issues in Islam today including Shari'a, jihad, politics, gender and interfaith relations. This book deals with certain "hot button" contemporary issues in Islam that are often the focus of public scrutiny, including the Shari'a, jihad, the caliphate, women's status, and interfaith relations. Notably, it places the discussion of these topics within a longer historical framework in order to reveal their multiple interpretations and contested applications over time. Most public - and occasionally academic - discourses in the West present the Islamic tradition as unchanging and therefore unable to respond to the modern world. Such an ahistorical approach can foster the belief that Muslim majority and Western societies are destined to clash. This book reveals instead the diversity and transformations within Islamic thought over time. Focusing on this internal diversity permits us to appreciate the scriptural and intellectual resources available within the Islamic tradition for responding to the challenges of modernity, even as this tradition interrogates and shapes modernity itself. It identifies seven key "controversial" issues that frequently emerge concerning Islam in public discussions, academic and non academic. It offers a historically contextualised discussion of these key issues and concepts in the context of modernity and relations with the West. It challenges the "clash of civilisations" thesis by identifying shared, universal values that are retrievable from a deeper, historicised investigation of the Islamic past and its connection with the present. It interrogates the premise that secularisation must precede a successful transition to modernity and that Western style modernity is the only paradigm available.

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748632770
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 367 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"This long after 9/11, Western public discourse about Islam appears to be getting (if possible) even less subtle and nuanced than ever before. Complex questions about context, power and history are increasingly shunned in favour of simpler and simpler questions about Islam's timeless essence. Asma Afsaruddin reminds us in this learned and timely book that only a longer historical view allows us to better understand the complexities of the public expression of Islam in modern conditions that have been both imposed on Muslims from without and developed by them from within." -- Andrew March, Yale University


"For many westerners, Islam appears peculiarly resistant to democracy, freedom, and women's rights, while simultaneously prone to violence and oppression. While numerous Muslims can critique and challenge these stereotypes through personal contacts and dialogue, few of them write books in English that are up to this task. Fortunately, we now have Asma Afsaruddin's new book, ontemporary Issues in Islam, which presents an openly liberal Muslim argument that Islam is (or should be) democratic, peaceful, empowering to women, and a collegial participant in interfaith dialogue." -- Scott C. Lucas,
os Angeles Review of Books


"Contemporary Issues in Islam is a mature work that reflects decades of careful research and intellectual synthesis with ample attention to both primary and secondary literature. The monograph will likely appeal not only to scholars and students in religious studies and Islamic studies, but also political science and history as well as journalists." -- Elliott Bazzano, newbooksnetwork.com




-This long after 9/11, Western public discourse about Islam appears to be getting (if possible) even less subtle and nuanced than ever before. Complex questions about context, power and history are increasingly shunned in favour of simpler and simpler questions about Islam's timeless essence. Asma Afsaruddin reminds us in this learned and timely book that only a longer historical view allows us to better understand the complexities of the public expression of Islam in modern conditions that have been both imposed on Muslims from without and developed by them from within.- -- Andrew March, Yale University


-For many westerners, Islam appears peculiarly resistant to democracy, freedom, and women's rights, while simultaneously prone to violence and oppression. While numerous Muslims can critique and challenge these stereotypes through personal contacts and dialogue, few of them write books in English that are up to this task. Fortunately, we now have Asma Afsaruddin's new book, ontemporary Issues in Islam, which presents an openly liberal Muslim argument that Islam is (or should be) democratic, peaceful, empowering to women, and a collegial participant in interfaith dialogue.- -- Scott C. Lucas,
os Angeles Review of Books


-Contemporary Issues in Islam is a mature work that reflects decades of careful research and intellectual synthesis with ample attention to both primary and secondary literature. The monograph will likely appeal not only to scholars and students in religious studies and Islamic studies, but also political science and history as well as journalists.- -- Elliott Bazzano, newbooksnetwork.com


-Reading no more than the contents section of this book, one gets a pretty good idea of its considerable overall importance, dealing as it is with -The Shoals of Modernity-; Political Islam; Islam Gender Hermeneutics; War and Peace Making in Muslim Tradition; American Muslims; and interfaith Relations... Asma Afsaruddin's extraordinary analytical skills show everywhere.- -- Murad Wilfried Hoffmann, The Muslim World Book Review


-Our reviewer was impressed specifically with the originality of the methodology used, suggesting that the author 'reveals herself as a considerable and formidable force in her knowledge of the historical development of the interpretation of Islam's primary sacred sources, especially the Qur'an'. The author takes the approach of tracking every single verse and showing how understanding of the verse has changed throughout history, thus enabling the author to counter prevailing understandings of Islam as 'anti-modern'. The reviewer concludes that the book is 'beautifully constructed, highly knowledgeable of primary sources' and 'challenging to popular stereotypes'. -- British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize




"This long after 9/11, Western public discourse about Islam appears to be getting (if possible) even less subtle and nuanced than ever before. Complex questions about context, power and history are increasingly shunned in favour of simpler and simpler questions about Islam's timeless essence. Asma Afsaruddin reminds us in this learned and timely book that only a longer historical view allows us to better understand the complexities of the public expression of Islam in modern conditions that have been both imposed on Muslims from without and developed by them from within." -- Andrew March, Yale University


"For many westerners, Islam appears peculiarly resistant to democracy, freedom, and women's rights, while simultaneously prone to violence and oppression. While numerous Muslims can critique and challenge these stereotypes through personal contacts and dialogue, few of them write books in English that are up to this task. Fortunately, we now have Asma Afsaruddin's new book, ontemporary Issues in Islam, which presents an openly liberal Muslim argument that Islam is (or should be) democratic, peaceful, empowering to women, and a collegial participant in interfaith dialogue." -- Scott C. Lucas,
os Angeles Review of Books


"Contemporary Issues in Islam is a mature work that reflects decades of careful research and intellectual synthesis with ample attention to both primary and secondary literature. The monograph will likely appeal not only to scholars and students in religious studies and Islamic studies, but also political science and history as well as journalists." -- Elliott Bazzano, newbooksnetwork.com


"Reading no more than the contents section of this book, one gets a pretty good idea of its considerable overall importance, dealing as it is with "The Shoals of Modernity"; Political Islam; Islam Gender Hermeneutics; War and Peace Making in Muslim Tradition; American Muslims; and interfaith Relations... Asma Afsaruddin's extraordinary analytical skills show everywhere." -- Murad Wilfried Hoffmann, The Muslim World Book Review


"Our reviewer was impressed specifically with the originality of the methodology used, suggesting that the author 'reveals herself as a considerable and formidable force in her knowledge of the historical development of the interpretation of Islam's primary sacred sources, especially the Qur'an'. The author takes the approach of tracking every single verse and showing how understanding of the verse has changed throughout history, thus enabling the author to counter prevailing understandings of Islam as 'anti-modern'. The reviewer concludes that the book is 'beautifully constructed, highly knowledgeable of primary sources' and 'challenging to popular stereotypes'. -- British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize


"Afsaruddin provides an excellent account of the central issues in Islam: modernity, politics and democracy, women, war and peace, international relations, interfaith dialogue, and Muslims in the West. She rejects ahistorical pronouncements on religious essences and relies on historical contextualization of the evolution and transformation of the meaning and application of key concepts now popular - Shari'a, jihad, caliphate, women's roles, and the Islamic State. The book utilizes a sociological perspective of Islam, successfully shows the causes of misunderstanding Islam through the ages, and contributes to 'the discussion of the hermeneutic and discursive strategies employed by contemporary Muslims to interrogate and negotiate these burning issues'." -- A. R. Abootalebi, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, CHOICE


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