Islam: The Straight Path (Oxford paperbacks)

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9780195043990: Islam: The Straight Path (Oxford paperbacks)

The world's second largest religion, Islam is also one of the fastest growing and most politically potent, yet its nature remains obscure to many westerners despite its common theological and historical roots with Judaism and Christianity. Combining the finest Western scholarship with an insider's understanding of the Muslim world, this book provides a brief, yet comprehensive, introduction to the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from the seventh century to the contemporary resurgence. Drawing on his extensive experience traveling, researching, and teaching in the Muslim world, John L. Esposito records the struggle of Muslims to define and follow their way of life through the development of Islamic law, theology, mysticism, and philosophy, bringing his discussion to life with excerpts from a wide range of original sources. Written for a broad audience, Islam: The Straight Path addresses the powerful and pervasive role of Islam in modern Muslim life and the issues that Islam faces, avoiding simplified political generalizations about the contemporary scene. Completely up-to-date, this book is indispensable to understanding the Islamic world during this turbulent and important period in its history.

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About the Author:


John L. Esposito is Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for International Studies at the College of the Holy Cross. He has been appointed William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the College of William and Mary and is president of the Middle East Studies Association. His many publications include Islam in Asia (Oxford, 1987), Islam and Politics, Second Edition (1987), Voices of Resurgent Islam (Oxford, 1983), Islam in Transition (Oxford, 1982), and Women in Muslim Family Law (1982).

From Publishers Weekly:

Esposito ( Islam in Asia , etc.), professor of international studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, Mass., refreshingly eschews the more sensationalist aspects of contemporary Islam for a detailed survey of early Islamic history and a thorough review of the intricacies of Islamic law and ritual, and of the development of the various and often conflicting interpretations of these traditions in the modern world. The book corrects many popular misconceptions (e.g., that Friday is the "Muslim Sabbath" or that women are enjoined by the Quran to wear the veil) and is especially good on delineating the beliefs and practices of the Shii Muslims. Unfortunately, in his attempt to be factual and dispassionate, the author tends to present the material in a dry, toneless manner. And the proliferation of Arabic terms, inadequately defined in the glossary, will confuse those readers unfamiliar with the religion. Despite these shortcomings, this is a helpful guide to the history and current status of the world's fastest-growing religion.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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