Max Weber and Islam

Overview

Max Weber and Islam is a major effort by Islamic-studies specialists to reexamine and appraise Max Weber's perspectives on Islam and its historical development. Eight specialists on Islam and two sociologists explore many dimensions of Weber's comments on Islam, along with Weber's conceptual framework. The volume's introduction links the discussions to contemporary issues and debates.

Wolfgang Schluchter reconstructs Weber's conceptual apparatus as it applies to Islam and its ...

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Overview

Max Weber and Islam is a major effort by Islamic-studies specialists to reexamine and appraise Max Weber's perspectives on Islam and its historical development. Eight specialists on Islam and two sociologists explore many dimensions of Weber's comments on Islam, along with Weber's conceptual framework. The volume's introduction links the discussions to contemporary issues and debates.

Wolfgang Schluchter reconstructs Weber's conceptual apparatus as it applies to Islam and its historical development. In subsequent chapters, Islamic specialists consider such major topics as the developmental history of Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic reform, Islamic law and capitalism, secularization in Islam, as well as the value of attempting to apply Weber's concept of sects to Islam. While some authors find flaws in Weber's factual knowledge of Islam, they also find considerable merit in the kinds of questions Weber raised.

Contributors to the volume include highly respected contemporary international scholars of Islam: Ira Lapidus, Nehemia Levtzion, Richard M. Eaton, Peter Hardy, Rudolph Peters, Barbara Metcalf, Francis Robinson, Patricia Crone, Michael Cook, and S.N. Eisenstadt. Toby Huff's introduction not only knits the thematics of the separate essays together but adds its own stresses while engaging the contributors in dialogue and debate about fundamental issues. This acute collective analysis establishes a new benchmark for understanding Weber and Islam. This book also provides an up-to-date overview of the developmental history of many aspects of Islam. A major reappraisal of the entire span of Max Weber's sociological thought on Islam, this book will appeal to a wide range of scholars and laymen interested in the Islamic world. It will be of particular interest to sociologists specializing in religion and Middle East area specialists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“By properly contextualizing and relating structural, ideological, and social psychological dimensions, Schluchter offers a rather convincing interpretation of Weber’s view of Islam. The strength of Schluchter’s analysis lies in the internal systemization of Weber’s texts. . . . [These] essays are worth reading.” —Martin Riesebrodt, Contemporary Sociology “Although Weber is best known for his work on the role of Protestantism in the development of capitalism, he also did important studies on comparative sociology of religion... The centerpiece essay by Wolfgang Schluchter (sociology, Univ. of Erfurt, Germany) expertly recreates the sources of Weber's understanding of Islam and puts his scattered comments into a coherent whole. Ten other essays alternately apply Weberian categories to a specific aspect of the Islamic world or evaluate a statement of Weber's about Islam... Excellent summaries of both Weber's theories and Islam appear throughout.” —G. J. Miller, Choice “This book is a collection of essays first published in German in 1987 and usefully updated with an extensive new introduction by Toby Huff…. The essays by Huff, Schluchter, and Crone focus on Weber’s sociology and the place of Islam in it. The other essays are substantive contributions to the study of Islamic history and societies from a Weberian perspective.” —Saïd Amir Arjomand, American Journal of Sociology
Booknews
Several international scholars of Islam join Huff (sociology, U. of Massachusetts, Dartmouth) and Schluchter (sociology, U. of Heidelberg) to discuss Max Weber's perspectives on Islam and its historical development. Although some authors find flaws with Weber's factual knowledge of Islam, they also find some merit in the kinds of questions Weber raised, and thus reconsider some of these issues in articles on the history of Islam, reform, fundamentalism, sects, and Islamic law and capitalism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560004004
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/6/1999
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Toby E. Huff is professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He is editor of On the Roads to Modernity: Conscience, Science and Civilization—Selected Writings by Benjamin Nelson and the author of Max Weber and the Methodology of the Social Sciences and The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West. Wolfgang Schluchter is professor of sociology at the University of Heidelberg and dean of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Erfurt.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
1 Hindrances to Modernity: Max Weber on Islam 53
2 The Institutionalization of Early Islamic Societies 139
3 Aspects of Islamization: Weber's Observations on Islam Reconsidered 153
4 Islamization in Late Medieval Bengal: The Relevance of Max Weber 163
5 Max Weber and the Patrimonial Empire in Islam: The Mughal Case 183
6 Paradise or Hell? The Religious Doctrine of Election in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Islamic Fundamentalism and Protestant Calvinism 205
7 Weber and Islamic Reform 217
8 Secularization, Weber, and Islam 231
9 Weber, Islamic Law, and the Rise of Capitalism 247
10 Weber and Islamic Sects 273
11 Weber's Analysis of Islam and the Specific Pattern of Islamic Civilization 281
Bibliography 295
Contributors 317
Index 321
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