The Sayyid Qutb Reader / Edition 1

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Anyone who wants to understand what militant Muslims think has to understand what they read—and they read Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual father of Islamic fundamentalism. Qutb, an Egyptian literary critic and philosopher who was appalled by American decadence, gained prominence in the Muslim Brotherhood, was imprisoned by Nasser, and hanged in 1966. Through his death and prolific writings he became a martyr for the cause of political Islam. His work is virtually unknown outside the Muslim world, but Qutb is at the heart of the intellectual rationale for jihad and violence in the name of Islam.

The Sayyid Qutb Reader is the first collection of his selected works available to the general public. As such, this valuable introduction to Qutb’s core intellectual ideas should be read by anyone who wants to understand one of the most important conflicts of our age.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The influence of Sayyid Qutb on contemporary Islamic radicalism has been far-reaching. This timely reader makes the main currents of Qutb's thought available in one volume to the English-speaking reader, a service that should facilitate the study of a figure who, in the West, has been more widely cited than read."

Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School

"There has been need for a summary volume of Sayyid Qutb's basic writings for some time because of his foundational position within Muslim radicalism. Although many of Qutb's writings have been translated into English, the translations have often been problematic or in substandard English. Bergesen brings together the essential Qutb for the interested reader, and most especially classroom use, and presents it in a coherent and thematic manner. Because Qutb's writings are so voluminous and for the most part repetitive, Bergesen has done a much-needed selection that can give outsiders a sense of the importance and influence of Qutb's thinking without having to read them all. The Sayyid Qutb Reader is a very nicely achieved balance between a summary of Qutb's thought (from a scholarly viewpoint) and the words of the author himself, finally in readable English."

David Cook, Rice University, Houston

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415954259
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 186
  • Sales rank: 534,330
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Albert Bergesen is Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Life, Context, and Core Ideas 1. Qutb in Historical Context 2. Qutb’s Core Ideas Part 2: Selected Writings 3. Milestones 4. Prologue, from In The Shade of the Qur’an, Volume 7: SURAH 8, Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) 5. The Basis of Inter-Communal Relations, from In The Shade of the Qur’an, Volume 8, SURAH 9, Al-Tawbah (The Repentance) 6. The Earth’s Suffocating Expanse, from In The Shade of the Qur’an, Volume 8, SURAH 9: Al-Tawbah (The Repentance) 7. Religion and Society in Christianity and in Islam, from Social Justice in Islam 8. Sorrows of the Countryside, from A Child of the Countryside

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    Helpful insight into Islamic 'radicalism' but...

    This collection would have received 5 STARS but was demoted to 3 because Al Bergesen perpetuates the myth that there is a parallel between the Protestant Reformation reading of Scripture and Islamic Fundamentalist reading of the Qur'an. He notes how Muslim fundamentalist leaders tend to read the Qur'an individualistically without appealing to earlier tradition and interpretation (pp.8-10). This however was certainly not the case with the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. They all recognized their indebtedness to the church fathers, ecumenical councils and creeds. Martin Luther [1483-1546] said about the Apostles' Creed, 'This confession of faith we did not make or invent, neither did the fathers of the church before us. But as the bee gathers honey from many a beautiful and delectible flower, so this creed has been collected in commendable brevity from the books of the beloved prophets and apostles, that is, from the entire Holy Scriptures' (Trinity Sunday Sermon, 1535). John Calvin [1509-1564] said, 'I venerate them [ecumenical councils] from my heart, and desire that they be honored by all' (Institutes of the Christian Religion, IX.ix.1). William Whitaker [1547-1595] wrote, 'For we also say that the church is the interpreter of Scripture, and that the gift of interpretation resides only in the church: but we deny that it pertains to particular persons, or is tied to any particular see [jurisdiction i.e. the bishop of Rome] or succession of men.' See also Keith Mathison, 'A Critique of the Evangelical Doctrine of Solo Scriptura' Keith Mathison, 'Solo Scriptura: The Difference a Vowel Makes'

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