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iMuslims

Rewiring the House of Islam

Gary R. Bunt

Exploring the increasing impact of the Internet on Muslims around the world, this book sheds new light on the nature of contemporary Islamic discourse, identity, and community.

The Internet has profoundly shaped how both Muslims and non-Muslims perceive Islam and how Islamic societies and networks are evolving and shifting in the twenty-first century, says Gary Bunt. While Islamic society has deep historical patterns of global exchange, the Internet has transformed how many Muslims practice the duties and rituals of Islam. A place of religious instruction may exist solely in the virtual world, for example, or a community may gather only online. Drawing on more than a decade of online research, Bunt shows how social-networking sites, blogs, and other "cyber-Islamic environments" have exposed Muslims to new influences outside the traditional spheres of Islamic knowledge and authority. Furthermore, the Internet has dramatically influenced forms of Islamic activism and radicalization, including jihad-oriented campaigns by networks such as al-Qaeda.

By surveying the broad spectrum of approaches used to present dimensions of Islamic social, spiritual, and political life on the Internet, iMuslims encourages diverse understandings of online Islam and of Islam generally.

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In Search of the Lost Heart

Explorations in Islamic Thought

Renowned scholar William C. Chittick explores the worldview of Islam in a series of essays written over thirty-six years. 'In Search of the Lost Heart brings together twenty-six essays by William C. Chittick, renowned scholar of Sufism and Islamic philosophy. Written between 1975 and 2011, most of these essays are not readily available in Chittick’s own books. Although this is a collection, its editors have crafted it to be a book “sufficient unto itself, which, when taken as a whole, can be said to explore the underlying worldview of Islam.” Chittick draws upon the writings of towering figures such as Ibn al->Arabiµ, Ruµmiµ, and Mullaµ S|adraµ, as well as other important, but lesser-known thinkers, as he engages with a wide variety of topics, such as the nature of being and knowledge, the relationship between love and scriptural hermeneutics, the practical and theoretical dimensions of Islamic mysticism, the phenomenon of religious diversity, and the ecological crisis.

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Indonesian Muslim Intelligentsia and Power

Yudi Latif

This book presents a genealogy of the social networks and power struggles of the major influential group of Indonesian-educated Muslims called "intelligentsia". In this effort, the longue durée approach is combined with an interactive, inter-disciplinary and inter-textual method to better understand the various underlying impulses and interactions contributing to continuity and change in the long-term development of the Muslim intelligentsia and its relation to power. In doing so, this book provides a major and important contribution to the study of the social history of contemporary Indonesia a plausible claim to being the first of its kind.

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Integrating Islam

Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France

Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaïsse

Nearly five million Muslims call France home, the vast majority from former French colonies in North Africa. While France has successfully integrated waves of immigrants in the past, this new influx poses a new variety of challenges —much as it does in neighboring European countries. Alarmists view the growing role of Muslims in French society as a form of "reverse colonization"; they believe Muslim political and religious networks seek to undermine European rule of law or that fundamentalists are creating a society entirely separate from the mainstream. Integrating Islam portrays the more complex reality of integration's successes and failures in French politics and society. From intermarriage rates to economic indicators, the authors paint a comprehensive portrait of Muslims in France. Using original research, they devote special attention to the policies developed by successive French governments to encourage integration and discourage extremism. Because of the size of its Muslim population and its universalistic definition of citizenship, France is an especially good test case for the encounter of Islam and the West. Despite serious and sometimes spectacular problems, the authors see a "French Islam" slowly replacing "Islam in France"–in other words, the emergence of a religion and a culture that feels at home in, and is largely at peace with, its host society. Integrating Islam provides readers with a comprehensive view of the state of Muslim integration into French society that cannot be found anywhere else. It is essential reading for students of French politics and those studying the interaction of Islam and the West, as well as the general public.

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Intertwined Worlds

Medieval Islam and Bible Criticism

Hava Lazarus-Yafeh

Exploring the lively polemics among Jews, Christians, and Muslims during the Middle Ages, Hava Lazarus-Yafeh analyzes Muslim critical attitudes toward the Bible, some of which share common features with both pre-Islamic and early modern European Bible criticism. Unlike Jews and Christians, Muslims did not accept the text of the Bible as divine word, believing that it had been tampered with or falsified. This belief, she maintains, led to a critical approach to the Bible, which scrutinized its text as well as its ways of transmission. In their approach Muslim authors drew on pre-Islamic pagan, Gnostic, and other sectarian writings as well as on Rabbinic and Christian sources. Elements of this criticism may have later influenced Western thinkers and helped shape early modern Bible scholarship. Nevertheless, Muslims also took the Bible to predict the coming of Muhammad and the rise of Islam. They seem to have used mainly oral Arabic translations of the Hebrew Bible and recorded some lost Jewish interpretations. In tracing the connections between pagan, Islamic, and modern Bible criticism, Lazarus-Yafeh demonstrates the importance of Muslim mediation between the ancient world and Europe in a hitherto unknown field.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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An Introduction to Islam for Jews

Authored by Reuven Firestone Ph.D.

Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States, Israel, and Europe are tenuous. Jews and Muslims struggle to understand one another and know little about each other's traditions and beliefs. Firestone explains the remarkable similarities and profound differences between Judaism and Islam, the complex history of Jihad, the legal and religious positions of Jews in the world of Islam, how various expressions of Islam (Sunni, Shi`a, Sufi, Salafi, etc.) regard Jews, the range of Muslim views about Israel, and much more. He addresses these issues and others with candor and integrity, and he writes with language, symbols, and ideas that make sense to Jews. Exploring these subjects in today's vexed political climate is a delicate undertaking. Firestone draws on the research and writings of generations of Muslim, Jewish, and other scholars, as well as his own considerable expertise in this field. The book's tone is neither disparaging, apologetic, nor triumphal. Firestone provides many original sources in translation, as well as an appendix of additional key sources in context. Most importantly, this book is readable and reasoned, presenting to readers for the first time the complexity of Islam and its relationship toward Jews and Judaism.

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Islam

A Guide for Jews and Christians

F. E. Peters

The Quran is a sacred book with profound, and familiar, Old and New Testament resonances. And the message it promulgated, Islam, came of age during an extraordinarily rich era of interaction among monotheists. Jews, Christians, and Muslims not only worshipped the same God, but shared aspirations, operated in the same social and economic environment, and sometimes lived side by side, indistinguishable by language, costume, or manners. Today, of course, little of this commonality is apparent, and Islam is poorly understood by most non-Muslims. Entering Islam through the same biblical door Muhammad did, this book introduces readers with Christian or Jewish backgrounds to one of the world's largest, most active, and--in the West--least understood religions.

Frank Peters, one of the world's leading authorities on the monotheistic religions, starts with the central feature of Muslim faith and life: the Quran. Across its pages move Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. The Quran contains remarkably familiar accounts of Genesis, the Flood, Exodus, the Virgin Birth, and other biblical events. But Peters also highlights Muhammad's very different use of Scripture and explains those elements of the Quran most alien to Western readers, from its didactic passages to its remarkable poetry.

Peters goes on to cogently explain Islam's defining features--including the significance of Mecca, the manner of Muhammad's revelations, and the creation of the unique community of Muslims, all in relation to the Judeo-Christian tradition. He compares Jesus and Muhammad, describes Islamic commandments and rituals, details the structures of Sunni and Shi'ite communities, and lays out central Islamic beliefs on war, women, mysticism, and martyrdom.

The result is a crucial and extremely accomplished book that offers Western readers a professional yet highly accessible understanding of Islam, and at a time when we need it most.

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Islam

A Way of Life

Philip Hitti

Professor Hitti, the distinguished orientalist, writes vividly and on a basis of lifelong scholarship about Islam, showing that it is not only a religion but also a state and a culture and that in these overlapping and interacting aspects it is a whole way of life.Writing of Islam the religion Professor Hitti describes it as a system of beliefs and practices initially revealed by Allah to Muhammad in the seventh century, enshrined in the Arabic Koran, complemented by tradition, and modified through the ages in response to changes in time and place.Islam the state, he shows, is a political entity with an aggregate of institutions based on koranic law, founded by Muhammad in Medina, developed by his successors (caliphs) at the expense of the Persian and East Roman empires to a height unattained in either ancient or medieval times, and then fragmented into splinter states in western Asia, northern Africa, and southwestern and southeastern Europe.Islam the culture, he explains, is a compound of varied elements -- ancient Semitic, Indo-Persian, Hellenic -- synthesizes under the caliphate and expressed primarily through the medium of the Arabic tongue. Unlike the other two, Islam the culture was mainly formulated by conquered peoples rather than by Arabians. From the middle of the eighth century to the end of the twelfth century, it was unsurpassed in its literary, scientific, and philosophic output. In the final chapter, discussing the confrontation of Islamic culture with modernity, the author maintains that the world can view with gratitude Arab contributions to the past and can look with hope to their accomplishments in the future.

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Islam and Mammon

The Economic Predicaments of Islamism

Timur Kuran

The doctrine of "Islamic economics" entered debates over the social role of Islam in the mid-twentieth century. Since then it has pursued the goal of restructuring economies according to perceived Islamic teachings. Beyond its most visible practical achievement--the establishment of Islamic banks meant to avoid interest--it has promoted Islamic norms of economic behavior and founded redistribution systems modeled after early Islamic fiscal practices.

In this bold and timely critique, Timur Kuran argues that the doctrine of Islamic economics is simplistic, incoherent, and largely irrelevant to present economic challenges. Observing that few Muslims take it seriously, he also finds that its practical applications have had no discernible effects on efficiency, growth, or poverty reduction. Why, then, has Islamic economics enjoyed any appeal at all? Kuran's answer is that the real purpose of Islamic economics has not been economic improvement but cultivation of a distinct Islamic identity to resist cultural globalization.

The Islamic subeconomies that have sprung up across the Islamic world are commonly viewed as manifestations of Islamic economics. In reality, Kuran demonstrates, they emerged to meet the economic aspirations of socially marginalized groups. The Islamic enterprises that form these subeconomies provide advancement opportunities to the disadvantaged. By enhancing interpersonal trust, they also facilitate intragroup transactions.

These findings raise the question of whether there exist links between Islam and economic performance. Exploring these links in relation to the long-unsettled question of why the Islamic world became underdeveloped, Kuran identifies several pertinent social mechanisms, some beneficial to economic development, others harmful.

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Islam and Open Society Fidelity and Movement in the Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal

In the atmosphere of suspicion and anger that characterizes our time, it is a joy to hear the voice of Iqbal, both passionate and serene. It is the voice of a soul that is deeply anchored in the Quranic Revelation, and precisely for that reason, open to all the other voices, seeking in them the path of his own fidelity. It is the voice of a man who has left behind all identitarian rigidity, who has 'broken all the idols of tribe and caste' to address himself to all human beings. But an unhappy accident has meant that this voice was buried, both in the general forgetting of Islamic modernism and in the very country that he named before its existence, Pakistan, whose multiple rigidities ñ political, religious, military ñ constitute a continual refutation of the very essence of his thought. But we all need to hear him again, citizens of the West, Muslims, and those from his native India, where a form of Hindu chauvinism rages in our times, in a way that exceeds his worst fears. Souleymane Bachir Diagne has done all of us an immense favor in making this voice heard once again, clear and convincing. Charles Taylor, Professor, McGill University Quebec, Canada

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