By Malise Ruthven
This valuable introductory guide provides a complete and lively summary of Islam, one of the most worldly of the great religions, in which the quest for spiritual fulfillment is inevitably bound up with political aspirations. Malise Ruthven presents a full overview of the religion in its historical, geographic, and social settings. For this revised and long-awaited second edition, Ruthven divides his original chapters into more accessible sub-sections and provides new headings. Also included is a new concluding chapter that focuses on women in Islam, the challenges Islam faces in today's climate of globalization, and the key developments in Islamic political history since 1984--an especially fertile period that has seen, among other things, the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and the controversial publication of Rushdie's Satanic Verses. Islam and the World, Second Edition likewise features a new preface, redrawn maps, updated data on population and dispersal, and a new chronology of events with genealogical charts.