Synopses & Reviews
Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions. But few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam, both as Ideology and religion. Islam: A Very Short Introduction
offers essential insight into the structure and beliefs of this major world religion.
Malise Ruthven answers fundamental questions about the nature and scope of Islam such as why the greatest Jihad (holy war) is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil, why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shiis, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and how the Sharia (Islamic law) has become such an important aspect of Islamic life. In addition, he prompts further questioning into the ideas of Islamic resurgence as both an old and new concept, whether or not women can find fulfillment and equality within an Islamic framework, and the sort of problems facing Islam and its confrontations with the modern world.
Offering fresh insights and new information, Islam: A Very Short Introduction provides a much needed discussion of Islam's past, present, and future, and its place in modern world religions.
"Malise Ruthven's book answers the urgent need for an introduction to Islam... He addresses major isssues with clarity and directness, engages dispassionately with the disparate stereotypes and polemics on the subjects, and guides the reader surely through the urgent debates about fundamentalism."--Michael Gilsenan, New York University
Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam. Malise Ruthven's "Very Short Introduction" contains insights into various issues including why Islam has such major divisions between movements.
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects -- from Islam to Sociology, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative -- yet always balanced and complete -- discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject developed and how it influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all readers an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever area of study one deems important or appealing, whatever topic fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
1343902 Includes bibliographical references and index.
About the Author
is renowned as a commentator on Islam and the Arab world. A former scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services, his previous publications include Islam in the World
and The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Islam and Islamism
2. The core traditions
3. The Shari'a and what it means today
4. Unity and Diversity
5. The Greater and Lesser Jihads
6. Modern Islamic Radicalism
7. Women and the Family