Islams and Modernities (Phronesis)

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9781859841068: Islams and Modernities (Phronesis)

Challenging the similarly romantic, ahistoric and irreconcilable notions of Islamic and Western cultures, this book cuts through conventional wisdom and common cliches to highlight the plurality and historicity of both. For Aziz Al-Azmeh, the Orientalist and racist view of Islam is nothing but the mirror-image of the myths propagated by the Islamic fundamentalists an radicals. In this book he demonstrates both views share an erroneous and an historical conception of Islam as an unchanging and monolithic entity. Moreover, this analysis dissects the mutual implication of both the dominant Western discourse and its supposed primary opponent, postmodernism, in this form of essentialism. There is no one, homogeneous Islam, and this book highlights the diversity and plurality of forms of the Muslim tradition, seeking to understand historically the phenomenon of fundamentalism, amongst other strands, as a profoundly modern ideology. Challenging the stereotypes and legends of both its opponents and proponents, the book traces how political Islam breaks with core elements of the Muslim tradition and, at the same time, roots many of its concepts in European reactionary and romantic thought. This edition is expanded to include further studies of the role of the secular and the popular in Islamic societies. Aziz Al-Azmeh is the author of Arabic Thought and Islamic Societies, Ibn Khaldun and Muslim Kingship.

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About the Author:

Aziz Al-Azmeh was born in Damascus. He received the PhD in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford. He is currently University Professor at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. His other works include Keywords, Islam in Europe, Ibn Khladun, and The Times of History.

Review:

Islams and Modernities raises urgent questions that are central to the concerns of the contemporary world.”— Guardian

“Aziz Al-Azmeh is perhaps the most original thinker on these themes in Britain today.”— New Statesman

“Deserves to be widely read.”— Times Literary Supplement

“An invaluable addition to the growing literature available.”— Times Higher Education Supplement

“The importance of this work is difficult to exaggerate.”— Middle East Studies Association Bulletin

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Aziz Al-Azmeh
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