Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World

Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World

Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World

Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World

Synopsis

This is a single-volume history of Islam. The opening chapters briefly discuss the historical background of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century, through the rise of the Islam in 18th through 20th centuries. The final two chapters cover the significant events of the 1980s and 1990s.

Excerpt

The growing significance of the modern and contemporary Islamic world to the global community requires that we understand not only the broad continuities and commonalities but also the new elements and local particulars of Muslim experience. the past decade was marked by many conferences discussing, and numerous books exploring, these complex dimensions of modern Islamic history. However, there continues to be a need for a single volume that tries to cover this vast picture within the perspective and framework of the views of a single person. Many people appear to have found the first edition of this book to be helpful, and it is to them that I offer this second edition.

In this new edition, I have tried to reduce those sections that appeared to be least helpful in order to provide space for coverage of the significant events of the 1980s and early 1990s. As a result, the first two chapters of the original have been combined into a single introductory chapter, and the final two chapters, as well as the bibliographical essay, have been fully rewritten. the chapters covering the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the twentieth century Islamic experiences up to the 1970s (chapters 3-6 in the original and 2-5 in this edition) are unrevised. Each could be rewritten on the basis of important scholarship that has been published in the past decade, but I think that the main lines of the analysis in the original edition remain valid, and more revision would mean a new book rather than a second edition of a book which still has utility.

I continue to be enriched by people who help me, either through personal encouragement or through their scholarship or both. It is essential that I note the personal and scholarly support for more than a decade of John L. Esposito, and I sadly note the passing of two friends who commented on the first edition but will not see this second edition, although I have benefited from their work in preparing it: Richard P. Mitchell and Joseph Fletcher. in addition, I want to express my continuing gratitude to my wife, Sarah, for . . .

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