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Radical Islam: Medieval Theology and Modern Politics, Enlarged Edition Paperback – September 26, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0300049152 ISBN-10: 0300049153 Edition: Enlarged

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Radical Islam: Medieval Theology and Modern Politics, Enlarged Edition + Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair
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Editorial Reviews

Review

As good a guide as any to the ideological currents that motivate and sustain some radical Islamics. -- (B.B. Lawrence, Choice)

Not just scholars but everyone seriously interested in teh contemporary Middle East is in Sivan's debt. -- (G.H. Jansen, Los Angeles Times)

[E]xceptional...professional, insightful, and persuasive...A well-informed interpretation of recent events based directly on relevant Arabic writings. -- (Michael W. Dols, History)

[T] his gem of a small book... book makes a large and almost entirely new body of information available. -- (Daniel Pipes, The New Leader)

From the Inside Flap

In recent years radical fundamentalists have had a formidable intellectual and social impact on Sunni Islam countries such as Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. This highly acclaimed book by an eminent Arabist focuses on the development of Sunni Muslim fundamentalism, discussing how it rejected Western values, broke with pan-Arabism, and took on an activist political position. This enlarged edition contains a new chapter, "In the Shadow of Khomeini," which considers to growth and influence of Shi'ite radicalism since the Iranian Revolution, reviews the principal areas of controversy between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, and assesses whether rapprochment between the two groups is likely.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Enlarged edition (September 26, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300049153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300049152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on September 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Islamic fundamentalism (or "radicalism" if you prefer) is not a recent development, in spite of recent events. A case could even be made that Wahabism is a strand of fundamentalism in the broader interpretation of the word. Sivan examines Islam's fundamentalist appeal in Egypt (with the "Muslim Brotherhood", the group responsible for the murder of Sadat), Islamic Jihad in Lebanon and Syria, and the briefly touches on the shi'i revolution in Iran. At the heart of each of these groups is a disaffection with the Middle East's place in the world economy, and the political notion of a "nation-state." The appeal of fundamentalism is explored, and a good introduction to the interpretations of the Qu'ran that fundamentalists find is also discussed.
However, the book is not without its shortcomings. As a reader mentioned earlier, there is a Sunni slant to the fundamentalist movement (Shi'ii's are scarcely mentioned at all, and when they are are put in a 'negative' light), and Wahahbism - perhaps the first "fundamentalist" movement within Islam is ignored entirely. Furthermore, I had hoped that some discussion would have taken place regarding "where do we go from here?" Needless to say the issues that give fundamentalist (or even "radical") groups their appeal have not changed, so the continued existence of these groups is a foregone conclusion.
It is a good introduction to the "radical" movement, but is hardly the final word or greatest authority on the topic.
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10 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book fails to impress the intellectual of a reader who has a prior introduction to Islam or it's twentieth century resurgance. Although it does trace out the roots of the present day Muslim attitudes to the Islamic theology that surfaced in the twentieth century, it fails to signify this relativity to any degree. Ideas are repeated with a monotonous frequency which diminshes their collective efficiency and understanding. Strictly written from the Sunni Muslim fundamentalist movement's prespective, it does little justice to other sects of Islam - at times even specifically branding Shia's as heretics.
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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William Garrison Jr. VINE VOICE on October 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Contents Page: The Mood; Doom and Gloom, Jeremiads, The Global Village, Education and It's Discontents, Does Modernitiy Deliver?, Can Islam Cope?, Ordeal and Discord, Barbarity and Nationalism, No to Jihad?, The New Jahiliyya, Farewell to Pan-Arabism, The Nagging Doubts, Nationalism and It's Discontents, Severing the Gordian Knot, The New Tyranny, Turning Inward; In Quest of Authenticity, Treason of the Clerics, The Specter of Ataturk, Media: The Subliminal Message, Cultural Pessimism, From Pessimism to Activism, Authenticity, Democracy, Socialism, and Minorities, The Sunni Revolution, Counter-Society, Withdrawal and Revolt, The Right to Revolt, Ibn Taymiyya: Apostacy and Revolution; Counter-Propaganda and Internal Disputes, Resource to Violence, Continuity and Change, The Conservative Periphery, Radicals and Conservatives, The Villain of the Piece, State Reform, Women: Tempted by the Devil, The Limits of Tolerance, Facing the "New Jahiliyya", Assessment by the Left, The Marginal Observers; Islam: The Challenge, The Watershed: Lebanon; Iran: Intellectuals Turned Mystics; Self-Critique; The Danger of Born-Again Islam; In the Shadow of Khomeini; Sunnis and Shi'ites, The Heritage; Historical Perceptions, Political Theory, Eschatological Myths, Controversies and Ecumenicism, Idiom and Content; Exporting the Revolution.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful By lili barr on April 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
forcefully written, sharp, profound analysis of Fuindamentalism
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Radical Islam: Medieval Theology and Modern Politics, Enlarged Edition
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