Author: Ahmed, Shahab
Brand: Princeton University Press
Number Of Pages: 624
Release Date: 26-11-2017
Details: Product Description
What is Islam? How do we grasp a human and historical phenomenon characterized by such variety and contradiction? What is "Islamic" about Islamic philosophy or Islamic art? Should we speak of Islam or of islams? Should we distinguish the Islamic (the religious) from the Islamicate (the cultural)? Or should we abandon "Islamic" altogether as an analytical term? In What Is Islam?, Shahab Ahmed presents a bold new conceptualization of Islam that challenges dominant understandings grounded in the categories of "religion" and "culture" or those that privilege law and scripture. He argues that these modes of thinking obstruct us from understanding Islam, distorting it, diminishing it, and rendering it incoherent. What Is Islam? formulates a new conceptual language for analyzing Islam. It presents a new paradigm of how Muslims have historically understood divine revelation--one that enables us to understand how and why Muslims through history have embraced values such as exploration, ambiguity, aestheticization, polyvalence, and relativism, as well as practices such as figural art, music, and even wine drinking as Islamic. It also puts forward a new understanding of the historical constitution of Islamic law and its relationship to philosophical ethics and political theory. A book that is certain to provoke debate and significantly alter our understanding of Islam, What Is Islam? reveals how Muslims have historically conceived of and lived with Islam as norms and truths that are at once contradictory yet coherent.
What Is Islam? is both a substantive critique of the field of Islamic studies and a radical reconceptualization of 'Islam'/'Islamic' that seeks to account for the manifold and often mutually contradictory ways in which Muslims have understood, expressed, and enacted Islam. . . . A valiant first step towards an etic and panemic conceptualization of Islam, and must be further built upon to truly account for the mosaic that is the Muslim experience across space and time.
---Khalil Andani, Islam and Christian Muslim Relations
A fascinating, often difficult, but ultimately rewarding study. Embracing and indeed celebrating what is most creative and explorative in Islam, Ahmed is sick of people reducing the religion to nothing more than a mess of prohibitions and restrictions.
---Thomas Small, Times Literary Supplement
Ahmed brings a vast and impressive array of learning to his project, and
What is Islam? is a milestone in efforts to theorize Islam in the modern academy.
---Jon Hoover, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam
Anyone interested in exploring the intricacies and complexities of Islam as a religion, philosophical system and social text should study the new book
What Is Islam? . . . [A] perfect antidote to our present discourse.
---Hussein Ibish, New York Times
If the task sounds monumental, Ahmed's staggering erudition and range has more than equipped him for the challenge. . . . To call the book ambitious is an understatement.
---Alireza Doostdar, Shii Studies Review
One can't but be impressed by the grandeur of Ahmed's vision.
---Malise Ruthven, London Review of Books
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016
---Damian Howard, The Tablet
This tome will one day be recognized as a classic text. - Damian Howard,
We can be grateful ... that Ahmed managed to complete this extraordinary work. Scholars from east and west will be under his influence for years to come.
---Sameer Rahim, Prospect
From the Back Cover
"Not merely field changing, but the boldest and best thing I have read in any field in years."--Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
"This book seeks to offer nothing short of a new way of looking at Islam, and it succeeds admirably at so doing.... I know of no book on the question of how to approach Islam that comes close to this study in its learning, breadth, and sophistication. It should be read no
Package Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches