Islam Evolving: Radicalism, Reformation, and the Uneasy Relationship with the Secular West

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Religious piety, modernity, injunctions of sacred texts, pluralism, tradition, secularism, professionalism, and nationhood influence the various identities of contemporary Muslims all over the world. Portions of one notion are at odds with portions in other notions. However, all of these shape Muslim identities today. How portions of these notions are highlighted, reconciled, reinterpreted, minimized, and perhaps ignored is fascinating. Most recognize that one’s surroundings and socio-economic status filters what portions from the various ideologies we accept and to what extent.

This book attempts to explore these various Muslim identities for “secular Muslims.” These are Muslims who typically gravitate towards rationalism, and generally embrace human rights and pluralism. Indeed, reconciling “ancient” notions of religious piety and literal interpretations of certain passages from the sacred texts with notions of pluralism and gender equality is not always easy. The text seem to suggest that novel concepts of Muslim piety that attempt to reconcile traditional notions with post-modern ones are emerging. However, there are several versions of these identities, which can be roughly divided by geographical regions. Entwined with the analysis are glimpses of a personal narrative.

The questions and ensuing discussion that this book addresses are important. However the analysis could leave some readers feeling that it is not as complete as it could be. This is an academic discussion, and the text reflects the academic style, which may make it more difficult to read. While the topic is an important one, and sorely needs to be addressed, the treatment of the subject matter could be deeper.

Reviewed By:

Author Taner Edis
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 340 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2016-06-14
ISBN 9781633881891
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2016
Category Religion


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