Synopses & Reviews
The history of Sunni theology is little known, but the impact of its demise has profoundly shaped modern Islam. This book explores the correlation between anti-theological thought and the rise of Islamism in the twentieth century by examining Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the leadership of Umar al-Tilmisani (d. 1986). The sociopolitical implications of anti-theological creedalism and its postcolonial intermarriage with the modern nation-state are also analyzed. Ultimately, this study seeks to know whether a revival of Sunni theology, as a rational discourse on religion, can dilute the absolutism of increasingly pervasive Islamist thought in the contemporary Muslim world.
"This is a well-written and interesting book. It deals with the role, or rather the lack of role according to the author, of theology in the modern Islamic world, particularly in the thought of the radical Islamist movements and their leading thinkers, and is skeptical of the possibilities of a modern revival of theological thought. It is an important account of the topic and the topic itself is important. It should be used in courses on Islamic studies, the US and the Middle East, and also in theology, as there is tremendous interest in this issue today." - Oliver Leaman, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky, USA.
About the Author
Jeffry R. Halverson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Coastal Carolina University, USA. He is a specialist in Islamic studies and the history of religions, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa.
Table of Contents
1. The Doctrines of Sunni Theology
2. The Demise of 'Ilm al-Kalam
3. Between Theology and Creed
4. The Guide Through the Storm
5. The Taliban and the Maturidite School
6. The Promise of Ash'arite Semiotics
7. Conclusion: The Revival of Kalam?