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Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia
The renewal of the Muslim faith, which has occurred not only in Asia but in other parts of the world, has prompted warnings of an imminent "clash of civilizations" between Islam and the West. Islam in an Era of Nation-States examines the history, politics, and meanings of this resurgence in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines and explores its implications for Southeast Asia, the larger Muslim world, and the West. This volume will be of interest to students of Islam, Southeast Asian history, and the anthropology of religion. In examining the politics and meanings of Islamic resurgence, it will also speak to political scientists, religious scholars, and others concerned with culture and politics in the late modern era.
Identity, Liberation, and Difference in African-American Islamic Thought
Many of the most prominent figures in African-American Islam have been dismissed as Muslim heretics and cultists. Focusing on the works of five of these notable figures—Edward W. Blyden, Noble Drew Ali, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Wallace D. Muhammad—author Edward E. Curtis IV examines the origin and development of modern African-American Islamic thought. Curtis notes that intellectual tensions in African-American Islam parallel those of Islam throughout its history—most notably, whether Islam is a religion for a particular group of people or whether it is a religion for all people. In the African-American context, such tensions reflect the struggle for black liberation and the continuing reconstruction of black identity. Ultimately, Curtis argues, the interplay of particular and universal interpretations of the faith can allow African-American Islam a vision that embraces both a specific group of people and all people.
Muslims and Everyday Life in China World City
More than a quarter of a million Muslims live and work in Hong Kong. Among them are descendants of families who have been in the city for generations, recent immigrants from around the world, and growing numbers of migrant workers. Islam in Hong Kong explores the lives of Muslims as ethnic and religious minorities in this unique postcolonial Chinese city. Drawing on interviews with Muslims of different origins, O’Connor builds a detailed picture of daily life through topical chapters on language, space, religious education, daily prayers, maintaining a halal diet in a Chinese environment, racism, and other subjects. Although the picture that emerges is complex and ambiguous, one striking conclusion is that Muslims in Hong Kong generally find acceptance as a community and do not consider themselves to be victimised because of their religion.
An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
Islam in Modern Turkey presents one of the most comprehensive studies in English of the seminal Turkish thinker and theologian, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1876–1960). A devout Muslim who strongly believed in peacefully coexisting with the West, Nursi inspired a faith movement that has played a vital role in the revival of Islam in Turkey and now numbers several million followers worldwide. While Nursi’s ideas have been afforded considerable analysis, this book is the first to situate these ideas and his related activities in their historical contexts. Based on the available sources and Nursi’s own works, here is a complete and balanced view of this important theologian’s life and thought.
A Handbook of Politics, Religion, Culture, and Society
Considered the most authoritative single-volume reference work on Islam in the contemporary world, the German-language Der Islam in der Gegenwart, currently in its fifth edition, offers a wealth of authoritative information on the religious, political, social, and cultural life of Islamic nations and of Islamic immigrant communities elsewhere. Now, Cornell University Press is making this invaluable resource accessible to English-language readers.
More current than the latest German edition on which it is based, Islam in the World Today covers a comprehensive array of topics in concise essays by some of the world's leading experts on Islam, including:
• the history of Islam from the earliest years through the twentieth century, with particular attention to Sunni and Shi'i Islam and Islamic revival movements during the last three centuries;
• data on the advance of Islam along with current population statistics;
• Muslim ideas on modern economics, on social order, and on attempts to modernize Islamic law (shari'a) and apply it in contemporary Muslim societies;
• Islam in diaspora, especially the situation in Europe and America;
• secularism, democracy, and human rights; and
• women in Islam Twenty-four essays are each devoted to a specific Muslim country or a country with significant Muslim minorities, spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union.
Additional essays illuminate Islamic culture, exploring local traditions; the languages and dialects of Muslim peoples; and art, architecture, and literature. Detailed bibliographies and indexes ensure the book's usefulness as a reference work.
Its History, Teaching, and Practices
This compact introduction to Islam describes the essential aspects of Islam as a living religion and social force. The book is organized around seven topics: the life of Muhammad; Islamic political development and territorial expansion; the important groupings of Islamic believers (Sunni, Shi'ite, and Sufi); the Qur'an (the Holy Book of Islam); Sunnah, Hadith (the record of the Prophet's actions and sayings), and Shari'ah (the compilation of Islamic law); the five Articles of Faith and the so-called Five Pillars of Islam that govern faith and action; and other binding religious observances and festivals. The presentation of these seven aspects of Islam strikes a balance between fact, tradition, current interpretation, and commentary.
S. A. Nigosian underscores two fundamental points: that to understand Islam properly, it is necessary to see it as a major faith tradition, with Muhammad as the last of a series of messengers sent by God; and that to grasp the spirit of Islam, one must recognize its emphasis on an uncompromising monotheism, with strict adherence to certain social, political, and religious practices, as taught by the Prophet and elaborated by tradition.
Reconsidering Religion and Secularism in Women’s Islamic Movements
As the world grapples with issues of religious fanaticism, extremist politics, and rampant violence that seek justification in either “religious” or “secular” discourses, women who claim Islam as a vehicle for individual and social change are often either regarded as pious subjects who subscribe to an ideology that denies them many modern freedoms, or as feminist subjects who seek empowerment only through rejecting religion and adopting secularist discourses. Such assumptions emerge from a common trend in the literature to categorize the ‘secular’ and the ‘religious’ as polarizing categories, which in turn mitigates the identities, experiences and actions of women in Islamic societies. Yet in actuality Muslim women whose activism is grounded in Islam draw equally on principles associated with secularism.
In An Islam of Her Own, Sherine Hafez focuses on women's Islamic activism in Egypt to challenge these binary representations of religious versus secular subjectivities. Drawing on six non-consecutive years of ethnographic fieldwork within a women's Islamic movement in Cairo, Hafez analyzes the ways in which women who participate in Islamic activism narrate their selfhood, articulate their desires, and embody discourses in which the boundaries are blurred between the religious and the secular.
Vol. 5 (2014)
Islamic Africa is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, academic journal published by Northwestern University Press in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA), based at Northwestern University, Evanston. The journal incorporates Sudanic Africa, retaining its focus on historical sources, bibliographies, and methodologies. Islamic Africa promotes interaction between scholars of Islam and Africa across all continents and across historical periods.
Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia
Well over half of the world’s Muslim population lives in Asia. Over the centuries a rich constellation of Muslim cultures developed there and the region is currently home to some of the most dynamic and important developments in contemporary Islam. Despite this, the internal dynamics of Muslim societies in Asia do not often receive commensurate attention in international Islamic Studies scholarship. This volume brings together the work of an interdisciplinary group of scholars discussing various aspects of the complex relationships between the Muslim communities of South and Southeast Asia. With their respective contributions covering points and patterns of interaction from the medieval to the contemporary periods, they attempt to map new trajectories for understanding the ways in which these two crucial areas have developed in relation to each other, as well as in the broader contexts of both world history and the current age of globalization.
Joshua Parens provides an introduction to the thought of Alfarabi, a tenth-century Muslim political philosopher whose writings are particularly relevant today. Parens focuses on Alfarabi’s Attainment of Happiness, in which he envisions the kind of government and religion needed to fulfill Islam’s ambition of universal acceptance. Parens argues that Alfarabi seeks to temper the hopes of Muslims and other believers that one homogeneous religion might befit the entire world and counsels acceptance of the possibility of a multiplicity of virtuous religions. Much of Alfarabi’s approach is built upon Plato’s Republic, which Parens also examines in order to provide the necessary background for a proper understanding of Alfarabi’s thought.