Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices / Edition 4

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Andrew Rippin’s Muslims is essential reading for students and scholars alike. This new edition has been comprehensively updated and for the first time features a companion website with extensive links to additional reading and resources to help deepen students’ understanding of the subject.

Muslims offers a survey of Islamic history and thought from the formative period of the religion to modern times. It examines the unique elements which have combined to form Islam, in particular the Qur’ān and the influence of Muhammad, and traces the ways in which these sources have interacted historically to create Muslim theology and law as well as the alternative visions of Islam found in Shi’ism and Sufi sm.

Combining core source materials with coverage of current scholarship and of recent events in the Islamic world, Andrew Rippin introduces this hugely significant religion in a succinct, challenging and refreshing way. The improved and expanded fourth edition contains a new chapter on perceptions of Muslims today as well as a new series of text boxes to stimulate students’ thinking about essay topics and research projects. Using a distinctive critical approach that promotes engagement with key issues, from fundamentalism and women’s rights to problems of identity, Islamophobia and modernity, this text is ideal for today’s students.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Highly recommended. An introduction that stands out due to its comprehensive coverage from a critical historical perspective attuned to the dynamics of constructing religious identities both in the past and present. Just the right amount of challenge for undergraduate students.' - F. Volker Greifenhagen, University of Regina, Canada

'With his pedagogical clarity, critical academic approach and vast knowledge, Andrew Rippin’s book is truly an authoritative and stimulating guide. The combination of classical and contemporary sources and a large number of examples from different epochs and regions provide the reader with a thorough introduction to Islamic studies.' - Göran Larsson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

"This thorough work by Rippin is one of the best short introductions to Muslim thought...this is an excellent classroom textbook. Rippin lives up to his goal to treat Islam to 'the full rigor of analysis that humanistic and social-scientific study can provide.' Summing Up: Highly recommended." G.M. Smith, Deleware County Community College, USA in Choice

Praise for previous editions:

'Probably the best general account of what Muslims believe' - Robert Irwin, The Guardian

'Provides a scholarly and yet readable introduction to the Islamic tradition. Rippin presents a complex religious tradition in a condensed, well-documented and up-to-date work.' - Roxanne D. Marcotte, Studies in Religion

'Rippin manages to give an accessible and representative overview of the doctrinal and ritual developments of Islam.' - Oliver Scharbrodt, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Rippin (history, U. of Victoria, British Columbia) has written a well- organized, readable text which carefully describes the religious elements of Islam. The second edition distills two volumes, to make this an ideal basic introduction for students and the general reader. Without scholarly digression into controversy, yet reflecting a knowledge of the complexities of each topic, the author describes the basic elements of Islam<-->its prehistory, the Koran, and Mohammad<--> before turning to the development of its political, theological, legal and ritual theories; the alternatives, such as Shi'ism and Sufism; the intellectual developments of the Middle Ages; the changes brought by the modern world; feminism; and future visions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415489409
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/22/2011
  • Series: Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 676,014
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Rippin is Professor of History and former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria, Canada. He specialises in Islamic Studies and has written and edited several books on Islam and the Qur'an, including Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature and The Islamic World (both published by Routledge).

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition. Introduction Part 1: Formative Elements of Classical Islam 1. Prehistory 2. The Qur’ān 3. Muhammad Part 2: Emergence of Islamic Identity 4. Political Action and Theory 5. Theological Exposition 6. Legal Developments 7. Ritual Practice Part 3: Alternative Visions of Classical Islamic Identity 8. The Shī’a 9. Sūfī Devotion Part 4: Consolidation of Islamic Identity 10. Intellectual Culture 11. Medieval Visions of Islam Part 5: Modern Visions of Islam 12. Describing Modernity 13. Muhammad and Modernity 14. The Qur’ān and Modernity 15. Issues of Identity: Ritual and Politics Part 6: Re-Visioning Islam 16. Women, Intellectuals and Other Challenges 17. Perceptions of Muslims in the Twenty-First Century. Glossary. References. General Index. Index of Qur’ān Citations.

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