Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam / Edition 1

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Overview

Tracing the social and political changes experienced during the transition from pre-Islamic Arabian culture to the religious civilization of Islam, Firestone concludes that jihad is an indigenous Arabian phenomenon. It resulted, he argues, from the mixture of old Arabian culture with innovations in the traditional social structure and worldview engendered by the introduction of Islamic monotheism. The cauldron in which this mixture produced its new product was Medina, where various forces came together to produce the religious community of Muslims known as the Umma.. "Firestone's historical reconstruction of Islamic holy war challenges the traditional "evolutionary theory" of war that was first established by medieval Muslim scholars and subsequently accepted uncritically by Western scholarship. In its place, he offers a far more nuanced understanding, based on careful philological analysis of Islamic texts in conjunction with the application of contemporary methodologies in anthropology, history, and the study of religion. The result is a text that will be of interest to students of religion, ethics, history, the ancient and modern Middle East, anthropology, Islam, the Bible, and the medieval world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Reuven Firestone has produced a book that should have been produced a long ago"--Journal of Near Eastern Studies

"In this book, Firestone had presented an attractive thsis which very much deserves to be read and debated by all who are interested in the subject."-- The Muslim World

"Firestone has done an admirable thing: he has written a brief, readable, carefully delineated, and scholarly study of a concept that is often bandied about in discussions of Islamic thought without reference to historical development or context."-- Journal of Near Eastern Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195154948
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 821,131
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Reuven Firestone is Professor of Judaism and Islam and Director of the Graduate School of Judaic Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

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Table of Contents

Transliterations
Introduction 3
1 Islam and Holy War 13
2 The Pre-Islamic World 19
3 The Qur'an: The Traditional Reading and Its Inherent Weakness 47
4 The Qur'an on War: A New Reading 67
5 The Prophetic Sunna 99
6 The Sira 105
7 Conclusion: From Mundane War to Holy War 127
Notes 135
Glossary 173
Bibliography 175
Index of Scriptural Citations 187
Subject Index 191
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