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Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World (Suny Series in Near Eastern Studies) Paperback – November 16, 1995

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is the most interesting, comprehensive, and intelligible study of the Arab/Islamic resurgence I have read to date. It stands in a class by itself as a learned synthesis of its subject. Its special strength is the richness of Arabic-language source material, looked at with the aid of sophisticated philosophical and culture-criticism discourse. Frederick M. Denny, University of Colorado at Boulder
This book provides an excellent summary of the intellectual origins of the Islamic resurgence, drawing on the best Muslim and western scholarship. The breadth of the analysis of scholarship is complemented by the more focused treatment of al-Banna, Qutb, and Fadlallah. It could easily be adopted as a text in undergraduate and some graduate courses. John L. Esposito, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
The book is lively, well-written, and engaging. The scholarship is thoroughly up to date. What I like most is the author s skill in interweaving the narrative thread of the ideas of Islamic resurgence with the approach of intertextual and epistemological analysis. He has succeeded admirably in that effort. Karl K. Barbir, Siena College"

From the Back Cover

This is a systematic treatment of the religious, intellectual, cultural, and social foundations of Islamic resurgence in the modern Arab World.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press; 1st edition (November 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791426645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791426647
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,005,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Ibrahim Abu-Rabi` of Hartford Seminary is not a prolific writer. Until now, he has written only two books and edited some materials on the issue of mysticism and of the Islamic thought in contemporary Turkey (his Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought will be released soon). However, one who reads his works carefully will find that his line of idea is crystallized to the objective of building self-criticism and balancing the themes of Islam in the Western world, especially the United States, his country of citizenship. It is in this context that the book under review, which is published by the State University of New York Press, is open to be read by all readers.

In order to develop his self-critical position in Islamic studies, Abu-Rabi` does not hesitate to buy the idea of what he calls "the serious orientalist" such as Hamilton Gibb, Louis Gardet, and Von Grunebaum, or Bernard Lewis. He combines the ideas of Muslim thinkers from the early nahdah thinkers with the contemporary thinkers that have been categorized in terms like Marxist, Islamist, liberal, and secularist. Abu-Rabi` considers the works of the Orientalists beneficial to develop a new conspicuousness of Muslims for seeking the way out of the crisis. It is true that Abu-Rabi` does not write specific themes as did Qutb or Mawdudi, to mention only two examples. However, his reflection about the orientalists and Muslim thinkers has been another important topic in the major themes of Islamic resurgence. His standpoint as a commentator on the orientalists and Muslim thinkers, at the same time, reveals his own position as a `modernist' and as a society-centered intellectual among contemporary Muslim thinkers today.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great scholarly enterprise. For sure, Pipes' criticism of this book is an obvious prejudice. This is an intellectually thought provoking book.
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Format: Paperback
Abu-Rabi‘ finds the origins of fundamentalist Islam lying as much in European colonialism as in Islam. The latter “is as strong a component—sometimes negative, sometimes positive—in modern Arab societies as the Qur’anic impact on the Arab mind.” To prove his point, the author devotes half his book to the analysis of what he calls the “grandiose exegesis” of Sayyid Qutb, the vituperative Egyptian thinker who helped establish so many of modern fundamentalism’s main features, including its hatred of moderate Muslims and its anti-Semitism.
To say that Abu-Rabi‘ is sympathetic to Qutb (and several other fundamentalist authors) would be an understatement. In fact, he serves as their apostle to an English-speaking audience. For example, he explains Qutb’s concept of intellectual imperialism, segues into his own elaboration of this topic, then returns to Qutb. Author and subject meld into a nearly seamless whole. The sharp-eyed reader will not be surprised that Abu-Rabi‘ sanitizes a hateful brand of fundamentalism: in the book’s acknowledgments, he thanks Ramadan ‘Abdallah (of the University of South Florida in Tampa) for reading his manuscript. In October 1995, as this book was in press, Ramadan ‘Abdallah surfaced in Damascus as Ramadan ‘Abdallah Shalah, the head of Islamic Jihad, the most murderous anti-Israel outfit anywhere in existence. As The New York Times headline about this story put it, “Professor Talked of Understanding But Now Reveals Ties to Terrorists.” No, the surprise is not that Abu-Rabi‘ apologizes for killers; but that the State University of New York Press should print such propagandistic ....
Middle East Quarterly, March 1996
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