The Oxford History of Islam

The Oxford History of Islam

The Oxford History of Islam

The Oxford History of Islam

Synopsis

'fine volume... excellent... admirable' -Karen Armstrong, The Times 7/6/00

Excerpt

Although Islam is the youngest of the major world religions, with 1.2billion fol
lowers, Islam is the second largest and fastest-growing religion in the world. To
speak of the world of Islam today is to refer not only to countries that stretch
from North Africa to Southeast Asia but also to Muslim minority communities
that exist across the globe. Thus, for example, Islam is the second or third largest
religion in Europe and the Americas.

Both the Muslim world and the West have experienced the impact of Islam
politically, culturally, and demographically. Events in the contemporary Muslim
world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam and the
Muslim world. Much of this work in religion, history, and the social sciences has
contributed toward the redressing of earlier imbalances of coverage and stereo
typing. The Oxford History of Islam is part of this process.

The cognitive, ideological, political, and demographic map of the Muslim
world changed dramatically in the second half of the twentieth century.
Modern nation-states emerged from centuries of European colonization, often
as a result of successful independence movements. However, contemporary
Muslim history challenged the expectation that modernization would result in
the progressive westernization and secularization of societies. Secularization of
society has not proved a necessary precondition for social, economic, and
political development.

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