Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader

Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader

Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader

Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader

Synopsis

Comprised of primary sources assembled from a broad chronological and geographic spectrum, Islamic Theological Themes is a comprehensive anthology of primary Islamic sacred texts in translation.nbsp; The volume includes rare and never before translated selections, all freshly situated and introduced with a view to opening doors into the larger world of Islamic life, belief, and culture.nbsp; From pre-theological material on the scriptural end of the spectrum, to the more practical material at the other, John Renard broadens our concepts of what counts as "Islamic theology," situating Islamic theological literature within the context of the emerging sub-discipline of Relational/Comparative Theology. Divided into five parts, students and scholars will find this collection to be an indispensible tool.

Excerpt

SCOPE AND ORIENTATION

Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader has five specific purposes. First, it offers a wide variety of primary sources as introductions to Islamic religious texts as well as Islamic theology and relational/comparative theology, especially for students who have some familiarity with the Islamic tradition and for readers with special interest in Islamic thought. Second, it broadens conceptions of Islamic theological literature beyond the confines of traditional “philosophical theology” (kalām), locating the latter within a spectrum of literature: kalām is thus presented as a particular method within the larger field of inquiry called theology. Third, it foregrounds the theological implications of a broad range of textual sources, from “pretheological” material on the scriptural-exegetical end of the spectrum, to the more practical and humanistic material at the other. Fourth, the collection exemplifies a rich diversity of views on a wide spectrum of topics, questions, themes, and contested issues, underscoring the problem so often posed by attempts to make sweeping generalizations about “what Muslims believe.” Finally, it situates Islamic theological literature within the context of the emerging subdiscipline of relational/comparative theology. Some texts included here are new translations of works, either never before translated into English or available only in now-antiquated or less than reliable versions; some reprint existing translations never before widely available; all are freshly situated and introduced with a view to opening doors into the larger world of Islamic life, belief, and culture.

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