Synopses & Reviews
The world's second largest religion, Islam is also one of the fastest growing and most politically potent, yet its nature remains obscure to many westerners despite its common theological and historical roots with Judaism and Christianity. Combining the finest Western scholarship with an insider's understanding of the Muslim world, this book provides a brief, yet comprehensive, introduction to the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from the seventh century to the contemporary resurgence. Drawing on his extensive experience traveling, researching, and teaching in the Muslim world, John L. Esposito records the struggle of Muslims to define and follow their way of life through the development of Islamic law, theology, mysticism, and philosophy, bringing his discussion to life with excerpts from a wide range of original sources. Written for a broad audience, Islam: The Straight Path addresses the powerful and pervasive role of Islam in modern Muslim life and the issues that Islam faces, avoiding simplified political generalizations about the contemporary scene. Completely up-to-date, this book is indispensable to understanding the Islamic world during this turbulent and important period in its history.
About the Author
John L. Esposito is Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for International Studies at the College of the Holy Cross. He has been appointed William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the College of William and Mary and is president of the Middle East Studies Association. His many publications include Islam in Asia
(Oxford, 1987), Islam and Politics
, Second Edition (1987), Voices of Resurgent Islam
(Oxford, 1983), Islam in Transition
(Oxford, 1982), and Women in Muslim Family Law
Table of Contents
Muhammad and the Quran: messenger and message -- The Muslim community in history -- Religious life: belief and practice -- Modern interpretations of Islam -- Contemporary Islam.