Synopses & Reviews
For more than two decades the world religions have been a central topic for Hans Küng. In books which have inspired millions throughout human society, he has pioneered work towards a new dialogue between cultures. In this extraordinarily comprehensive book, he gives an in-depth account of Islam, the second largest world religion after Christianity. Describing paradigm shifts in its 1400-year history, outlining the various currents and surveying the positions of Islam on the urgent questions of the day, few present-day theologians could have written such a complete analysis. As in Küngs earlier studies on Judaism (1991) and Christianity (1994), he focuses on the central principles in the faith and seeks to show the parallels between the monotheistic world religions. With detailed analysis of the contents and meaning of the Koran, he challenges the notion that people of different religions are intrinsically opposed. Indeed, in the introduction of this thought-provoking and powerful book, he explicitly presents its message as being the antithesis of that of the influential Clash of Civilisations (1993), by Samuel Huntington. Instead of presenting Islam as the new enemy in a post Cold War world, and regarding the current international situation as a call for further rearmament and hatred, he suggests that a "peace between religions" is a prerequisite for "peace between nations". Informative, opinionated and exceedingly well-constructed, this is a masterpiece by the foremost scholar in his field. In a world where understanding of global politics requires a knowledge of Islam, there is no better place to start. Dr. Küng is President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Weltethos). From 1960 until his retirement in 1996, he was Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Director of the Institute for Ecumenical Research at the University of Tübingen. He is a scholar of theology and philosophy and a prolific writer. He was recently named among Foreign Affairs One Hundred Public Intellectuals
"Prominent Christian theologian Kng completes his trilogy on the world's three monotheistic faiths with this lengthy analysis of Islam's 1,400-year history. As in his previous volumes, he speaks against the clash of civilizations and for peace through inter-religious dialogue. He sees each faith as having had major paradigm shifts that have moved it forward, and, in fact, praises Islam for advancing the Arab people quite rapidly, in some cases much faster than similar periods for Christianity. Nevertheless, he claims the Muslim world has neglected to move to its next paradigm due to various failures: arrogant ulama (religious scholars), greed among the wealthy, and the lack of health care and education. Equally critical of Christianity and Judaism, Kng is a lone, profound voice searching for greater understanding through asking difficult questions. He is intuitively confident that Muslims are ready to revitalize their religion, hungry for such rethinking through new Qur'anic interpretations that are already underway. Although the thousand-page book is overblown and could use some stringent editing, it contains insightful ideas and worthwhile commentary. Those intimidated by the lengthy volume may prefer to peruse the fascinating maps and tables throughout, which neatly and graphically summarize the book's major points." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For more than two decades the world religions have been a central topic for Hans Kung. In books which have inspired millions throughout the world, he has pioneered work towards a new dialogue between cultures. In this extraordinarily comprehensive book, he gives an in-depth account of Islam, the second largest world religion after Christianity. Describing paradigm shifts in its 1400-year history, outlining the various currents and surveying the positions of Islam on the urgent questions of the day, few people alive today could have written such a complete analysis.
In this extraordinary comprehensive book, Hans Küng gives an in-depth account of Islam, explaining why "peace between religions" is important.