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Unfolding Islam: Second Editionby P. J. Stewart
Synopses & Reviews
Thoroughly revised in the light of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent climate of fear and hostility towards Muslims, this new edition of the acclaimed Unfolding Islam sets out to present Islam to non-Muslim readers, and to describe for the general reader - whether Muslim or not - how Islam has unfolded over the course of time, and how it continues to do so.Set in the context of the geography and history of what may be called the super-continent of Afro- Eurasia, the book centers on the Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, showing how later developments are rooted there, right down to questions of contemporary relevance such as the difference between Sunni Muslims and Shiites, Sufis and literalists, reformists and 'fundamentalists'. Though the book is written with the non-specialist in mind, specialists will find new contributions to such topics as the first writing down of the Koran, jihad (holy war) and Islamic attitudes to our environment.Seen as a whole, the story of the unfolding of Islam shows how it has achieved its special balance of constancy and flexibility. The controlling position of the Prophet, the unique authority of the Koran and the strength of the Muslim family give the religion its enduring central core.
Book News Annotation:
Retired from an academic career encompassing Oxford, Egypt, and Algeria, Arabic scholar Stewart devotes the first half of his study to the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, specifically looking for evidence for or against the widely held belief that Islam is and will always be at war with the rest of the world. Then, recognizing his own bias, he describes what Muslims have made of their religion in successive eras down to our own, and what they might make of it from here. A major conclusion is that the fierce debates raging in Islam today have arisen many times in the past as well. No date is noted for the first edition, but this second is revised in light of the aftermath to the 9/11 attacks. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Presents Islam to non-Muslim readers, and to describe for the general reader how Islam has unfolded over the course of time, and how it continues to do so.
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