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Makers of Contemporary Islam Paperback – May 3, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0195141283 ISBN-10: 0195141288

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195141288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195141283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"It would be difficult to overestimate the significance of Esposito and John O. Voll's intellectually expansive yet thoroughly accessible volume. . . . Esposito and Voll's book adds to our understanding of the intellectual and cultural foundations of the diverse religious and political movements ramifying throughout the Islamic heartlands and far beyond."-- The Journal of Asian Studies

"a major contribution to the general study of Islamic religion . While this book may serve as an overview of the intellectual foundations of contemporary Islamic politics, it is historically rich and capable of provoking many layered readings."-- The Journal of Religion

About the Author

John L. Esposito is University Professor and Founding Director for the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. His publications include The Oxford History of Islam (OUP, 2000), The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality (OUP, 1999), Islam: The Straight Path (OUP, 1998), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (OUP, 1995), and Islam and Democracy (OUP, 1996).

John O. Voll is Professor of Islamic History at Georgtown University. He is the author of Islam: Continuity and CHange in the Muslim World and coauthor of Islam and Democracy (OUP, 1996).

More About the Author

John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown University and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He is the editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam and The Oxford History of Islam, and author of Unholy War, What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, and many other acclaimed works.

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Carool Kersten on July 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
At present, John Esposito and John Voll are probably the most prominent writers on things Islamic in the United States. Both pair a sound academic grounding in religious studies with the ability to provide readable and balanced accounts on current affairs and important intellectual trends in the Islamic world. In 'Makers of Contemporary Islam' they present a number of Islamic thinker-activists - some of whom are quite controversial - in an empathic manner.
In composing this book the authors have tried to strike a balance between 'pure' intellectuals and political activists. In addition to that they have endeavored to ensure a fair geographical spread as well, by including representatives from North Africa, the Arab Middle East, Iran, the Indian Subcontinent, and Southeast Asia.
In their introductory chapter Esposito and Voll give an account of the role of the intellectual in society. This issue is addressed from both a historical and cross-cultural perspective. The writers have also included a typology of the intellectual in Islamic society: distinguishing between traditional religious scholars (the so-called Ulama), secular thinkers, and modern Muslim activist intellectuals. While the relative influence of the first group has been on the decline ever since the arrival of modernity in the Islamic world, the second group was discredited and soon overtaken by the Islamists following the defeat of the Arabs by Israel in 1967.
The authors have emphasized the subtleties in the thought of the Islamists treated in this volume. It is made clear that all these thinkers take a critical stand towards their own cultural heritage and share an interest in dialogue and intellectual exchange with other cultures.
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Islam attempts to be a faith that attempts to encompass the political, social and economic life as well as the religious life of its adherents. It tries to do this without a central voice to define its principles and interpret its founding texts. This book helps to clarify the many strains of thought that have gone into its modern day development.
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