From the Inside Flap
This collection shows Islam to be a diverse set of variable practices and beliefs shaped by region, nation, ethnicity, sect, and class, as well as by responses to many cultural and economic processes. In examining women's participation in religious and nationalist projects, these critics debate controversial issues: Does Islamic feminism provide an alternative, revolutionary paradigm to Eurocentric liberal humanism and western feminism? Is Islam more oppressive to women than the modern secular state? How are the lives and texts of Arab and Muslim women constructed for local or western consumption? These essays expose the shortcomings of the secularist assumptions of many recent feminist analyses, which continue to treat religion in general and fundamentalism in particular as a tool of oppression used against women, rather than as a viable form of feminist agency producing contradictory effects for its participants.
The essays in this book first appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
S. M. Shamsul Alam
Mary Elaine Heglund
Gabriele vom Bruck.
About the Author
Carolyn Allen is a professor of English at the University of Washington and a former editor of Signs.
Judith A. Howard is the chair of the Department of Women's Studies and professor of sociology, at the University of Washington, president of the Pacific Sociological Association (2002), and a former editor of Signs.