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A Companion to Muslim Cultures by
Publication Date: 2011-11-22
I.B.Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili StudiesCulture shapes every aspect of the relationship between God and the believer in Islam - as well as among believers, and with those beyond the fold. Fasts, prayers and pilgrimages are attuned to social rhythms old and new, no less than the designs of mosques and public gardens, the making of 'religious' music, and ways of thinking about technology and wellbeing. Ancient deserts and modern urban landscapes may echo with the same call for transcendence, but in voices that emerge from very different everyday realities. Scripture itself, as the Prophet Muhammad knew, is ever seen through a cultural lens; both language and what it communicates are intimately tied to context. And the cosmopolitanism that runs through Muslim history from the outset recalls T.S. Eliot's remark that culture is 'that which makes life worth living'. It frames how the deepest religious values are understood and practiced, from modesty in adornment and solidarity with the underprivileged, to integrity and accountability in political life. Muslims have never been content with a passive separation of faith from their daily lives, whether public or private.What are the implications of this holistic view in a diverse world of Muslims and non-Muslims? How do core ethical values interface with the particulars of local cultures in all their complexity, especially when it comes to matters like the status of women and the scope of individual religious freedom? The answers - at a time when secular and Muslim identities appear to be locked in conflict - are explored in this Companion by some of today's finest scholars.
The SAGE Handbook of Islamic Studies by
Publication Date: 2010-05-26
Islamic Studies is at a critical moment in its history. It seeks both to maintain its rich history and to engage with other - sometimes dominant - cultural and political studies. This tension is producing complex changes in both the theory and the practice of Islamic Studies. This timely and stimulating Handbook, edited by world-class experts in the field, provides a comprehensive guide to Islamic Studies today. It examines the main issues in the field and explores the key debates. It provides readers with an indispensable, balanced guide to the roots of Islam and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.The Handbook includes discussions of:Islam as a community of discourse and a global systemIslam, diaspora and multiculturalismThe Qu'ran todayIslam as a moral and judicial systemIslam and politicsIslam and cultureDiversities and IslamConcise, level-headed, and penetrating, this collection will be of interest to anyone who studies contemporary Islam. It brings together an unparalleled collection of international scholars who illuminate some of the most urgent and complex issues in the world today.