Islam in the Modern World: Challenged by the West, Threatened by Fundamentalism, Keeping Faith with Traditionby Seyyed Hossein Nasr
The foremost U.S. authority on Islam and, Seyyed Hossein Nasr discusses today’s hot button issues—including holy wars, women’s rights, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the future of Moslems in the Middle East—in this groundbreaking discussion of the fastest-growing religion in the world. One of the great scholars in the modern Islamic intellectual tradition, and the acclaimed author of books such as The Garden of Truth and The Heart of Islam, Nasr brings incomparable insight to this exploration of Muslim issues and realities, delivering a landmark publication promoting cross-cultural awareness and world peace.
Newly revised edition of a well-considered academic study of the modern challenges to traditional Islam.
To reflect some of the staggering world developments since he published this work more than 20 years ago, Iranian-American scholar Nasr (Islamic Studies/George Washington Univ.; The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam's Mystical Tradition, 2007, etc.) provides significant revisions and added material. As a deeply believing Muslim as well as a scholar, Nasr imparts a tremendous sense of the Muslim's responsibility and worldview, organically linked to Islam's origins as a religion of divine revelation, and only recently having endured intrusions by secularism. The author takes great pains to define the many types of Muslims, though he believes that for most, their religion defines their ethical and social code and shapes their relationships to family, friends, nation, business, etc. For the first 1,000-plus years of its existence, "Islam lived with full awareness of the truth and the realization of God's promise to Muslims that they would be victorious if they followed His religion"—yet then succumbed to Western domination and manipulation, the latter in the form of Arab nationalism and the Taliban in Afghanistan. In response to the mutual mistrust of the West, strains of fundamentalisms have emerged, such as the Wahhabi movement, the Society of Islam in Pakistan, the Islamic Revolution in Iran and Mahdiism, whose adherents anticipate a messiah "who will destroy inequity and reestablish the rule of God on earth." In discrete, carefully honed essays, Nasr looks at some of Islam's thorny issues, such as jihad, which is really the "continuous exertion" of a believer to maintain equilibrium in all things; work ethics; the roles of male and female and the central divinity of erotic love; considerations of Shi'ism; and a holistic approach to education, encompassing philosophy, art and science (traditional Islamic vs. Western).
Scholarly appendices (e.g., traditional texts used in the Persian madrasas) give an idea of the erudite, wide-ranging purview of this rigorous study.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
Seyyed Hossein Nasr is university professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University. Author of over fifty books, Professor Nasr is a well-known and highly respected intellectual figure both in the West and in the Islamic world. Born in Tehran, raised from the age of twelve in the United States, and a graduate of MIT and Harvard University, Nasr is well qualified to explain Islam to a Western audience. He appears frequently on Meet the Press, as well as other national news shows.
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