New Books In Islamic Studies

Sinopsis

Interviews with Scholars of Islam about their New Books

Episodios

  • Danielle Haque, “Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature” (Syracuse UP, 2019)

    Danielle Haque, “Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature” (Syracuse UP, 2019)

    30/10/2020 Duración: 58min

    In many popular accounts of contemporary “Western” society there is an inherent contradiction between the principles underlying liberal secularism and Islam. This type of binary discourse about “religion” and “secular” naturalizes these differences and promotes the seeming rigidity of the two categories. But secularism is much messier than that. Danielle Haque, Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, questions this simplistic narrative in her new book Interrogating Secularism: Race and Religion in Arab Transnational Art and Literature (Syracuse University Press, 2019). She deconstructs liberal accounts of secularism through an examination of the work of authors and artists from ethnic and religious minorities. The literary and visual economies that inform their art demonstrates that secular values are not always neatly distinguished from religious principles nor are spiritual forms necessarily steeped in tradition. In our conversation we discuss secular ideologies, contemporary orientalism

  • Margrit Pernau, Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    23/10/2020 Duración: 01h09min

    In her stunning and conceptually adventurous new book Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford University Press, 2020), Margrit Pernau examines the varied and hugely consequential expressions of and normative investments in emotions in modern South Asian Muslim thought. By considering a wide array of sources including male and female reformist literature, poetry, newspapers, journals, sermons, and much more, Pernau explores the question of how the career of Islam in colonial India saw a paradigmatic shift from emphasis on balance or ‘adl to fervor and ebullience (josh). The intensification rather than the retreat of emotion represents a major feature of South Muslim scholarly thought and culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pernau convincingly demonstrates. Through the specific case study of modern South Asian Islam, she also presents and argues for novel conceptualizations of modernity as a lived and analytical category, marked not by just the disciplining o

  • Teren Sevea, Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Teren Sevea, "Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    22/10/2020 Duración: 01h20min

    In Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya (Cambridge University Press), Teren Sevea reveals the economic, environmental and religious significance of Islamic miracle workers (pawangs) in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Malay world. Through close textual analysis of hitherto overlooked manuscripts and personal interaction with modern pawangs readers are introduced to a universe of miracle workers that existed both in the past and in the present, uncovering connections between miracles and material life. Sevea demonstrates how societies in which the production and extraction of natural resources, as well as the uses of technology, were intertwined with the knowledge of charismatic religious figures, and locates the role of the pawangs in the spiritual economy of the Indian Ocean world, across maritime connections and Sufi networks, and on the frontier of the British Empire. Teren Sevea is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia, and received his

  • Noel Malcolm, Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750 (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Noel Malcolm, "Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    22/10/2020 Duración: 01h03min

    Sir Noel Malcolm’s captivating new book, Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750 (Oxford University Press, 2019), tells the story of Western European fascination with the Ottoman empire and Islam between the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the latter half of the 18th century. This beautifully argued, erudite monograph traces a textured encounter between two civilizational complexes and exposes the dynamic role that the Ottomans played in intra-European political and cultural struggles. Useful Enemies contends that ideas about the Ottomans were active ingredients in European thought, and were used to “shake things up, to provoke, to shame, to galvanise.” Discussions of Islam and the Ottoman empire were thus bound up with mainstream thinking in the West on a wide range of important topics - power, religion, society, and war. These Eastern enemies were not just there to be denounced. They were there to be made use of, in arguments which significantly contributed to

  • Tahseen Shams, Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (Stanford UP, 2020)

    Tahseen Shams, "Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (Stanford UP, 2020)

    16/10/2020 Duración: 01h26s

    Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Tahseen Shams (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) reconceptualizes the homeland-hostland dyad. Drawing from the experiences of diasporic South Asian Muslim community in America, namely Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians, Shams introduces an innovative conceptual notion of “elsewhere” which informs her new multicentered approach to the study of globalized immigrant identities. Using ethnographic study, social media analysis, and autoethnographic reflections, she provocatively highlights how for her varied participants, their identities as South Asian Muslim Americans were not only informed by their perception of sending and receiving countries, but also was defined by societies beyond these nation states, especially those that defined their sense of an ummatic connection, such as to countries in the Middle East. In such instances, affinities to elsewhere infor

  • Wilson Chacko Jacob, For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World (Stanford UP, 2019)

    Wilson Chacko Jacob, "For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World" (Stanford UP, 2019)

    15/10/2020 Duración: 01h36min

    Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World (Stanford University Press) tells his story, part biography and part global history, as his life and legacy afford a singular view on historical shifts of power and sovereignty, religion and politics. Wilson Chacko Jacob recasts the genealogy of modern sovereignty through the encounter between Islam and empire-states in the Indian Ocean world. Fadl's travels in worlds seen and unseen made for a life that was both unsettled and unsettling. And through his life at least two forms of sovereignty—God and empire—become apparent in intersecting global contexts of religion and modern state formation. While these changes are typically explained in terms of secularization of the state and the birth of rational modern man, the life and afterlives of Sayyid Fadl—which take us from eighteenth- and

  • Karen Taliaferro, The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths (Cambridge UP, 2019)

    Karen Taliaferro, "The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

    13/10/2020 Duración: 01h22min

    Religious freedom debates set blood boiling. Just consider notable Supreme Court cases of recent years such as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission or Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania. How can we reach any agreement between those who adhere strictly to the demands of divine law and the individual conscience and those for whom human-derived law is paramount? Is there any legal and philosophical framework that can mediate when tensions erupt between the human right of religious liberty and laws in the secular realm? In her 2019 book, The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths (Cambridge UP), Karen Taliaferro argues that natural law can act as just such a mediating tool. Natural law thinking can both help protect religious freedom and enable societies across the globe to maintain social peace and to function on the basis of fairness to all. Taliaferro shows that natural law is not merely a somewhat arcane legal philosophy promulgated by a subset

  • Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)

    Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)

    09/10/2020 Duración: 01h07min

    In the early 20th-century Muslims, primarily with roots in Lebanon, began to settle in Canada’s interior plains. In 1938, the small community in Edmonton opened the first mosque in the country, which would come to play a key role in shaping Islam's development in the Canada. Earle H. Waugh, Professor Emeritus at University of Alberta, narrates the history of this community and the place of this institution in Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities (University of Alberta Press, 2018). The micro-history of Edmonton’s Muslim community opens up vistas on the broader Canadian history and the role of Muslims in forming national projects and identities. Waugh outlines shifts in Islamic educational programs and community leadership, as well as the political terrains Muslims needed to traverse. Overall, the book offers a readable and robust history that adds a unique story to the history of Canada. In our conversation we discuss the Muslim population in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centur

  • Abla Hasan, Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender (Lexington Books, 2020)

    Abla Hasan, "Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender" (Lexington Books, 2020)

    02/10/2020 Duración: 01h04min

    Is it possible to interpret the Qur’an using the Qur’an alone? Is a feminist interpretation of controversial verses such as 4:34, the notorious “wife-beating” verse, possible? What evidence is there for the possibility that Maryam, the mother of Isa (Jesus) was a prophet, and why does that matter? How are Islamic feminist scholars in conversation with each other, as they both draw from and challenge each other in their efforts to find meaning in gender-related verses in the Qur’an? Abla Hasan’s book Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender (Lexington Books, 2020) offers possible answers to these questions and more. Hasan is an Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches courses in Arabic language and culture. She received her PhD in Philosophy of Language from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research and teaching focus on Qur'anic Studies, Islamic feminism, women and gender studies, and Arabic Studies.

  • Nicholas H. A. Evans, Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian (Cornell UP, 2020)

    Nicholas H. A. Evans, "Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian" (Cornell UP, 2020)

    25/09/2020 Duración: 47min

    A sustained and compelling critique of the doubt/belief binary in the anthropology of religion and Islam, Nicholas H. A. Evans’ Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian (Cornell University Press, 2020) presents a riveting ethnography of a community’s strivings to materially embody and establish the certainty of its religious identity. An organizational ethnography of the Ahmadi community in its founding city of Qadian in Panjab India, this book charts the multiple ways in which the Ahmadiyya cultivate their fidelity to the caliph that combine bureaucratic operations, polemical encounters with Muslims and non-Muslims, and the expression and dissemination of piety through technology like satellite television. In our conversation, we engage a range of themes including the Ahmadi-caliph relationship as the antidote to secular politics, “enchanting bureaucracy” and utopian counter-publics, “heroic polemicism,” the productive outcomes of ritual failures, and global outreach through

  • Rachel M. Gillum, Muslims in a Post-9/11 America (U Michigan Press, 2018)

    Rachel M. Gillum, "Muslims in a Post-9/11 America" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

    23/09/2020 Duración: 36min

    Muslims in a Post-9/11 America (University of Michigan Press, 2018) examines how public fears about Muslims in the United States compare with the reality of American Muslims’ attitudes on a range of relevant issues. While most research on Muslim Americans focuses on Arab Muslims, a quarter of the Muslim American population, Rachel Gillum includes perspectives of Muslims from various ethnic and national communities—from African Americans to those of Pakistani, Iranian, or Eastern European descent. Using interviews and one of the largest nationwide surveys of Muslim Americans to date, Gillum examines more than three generations of Muslim American immigrants to assess how segments of the Muslim American community are integrating into the U.S. social fabric, and how they respond to post-9/11 policy changes. Gillum’s findings challenge perceptions of Muslims as a homogeneous, isolated, un-American, and potentially violent segment of the U.S. population. Despite these realities, negative political rhetoric around M

  • E. Bazzano and M. Hermansen, Varieties of American Sufism (SUNY Press, 2020)

    E. Bazzano and M. Hermansen, "Varieties of American Sufism" (SUNY Press, 2020)

    18/09/2020 Duración: 54min

    Sufism in America is now a developed sub-field of study that exists at the intersection of Islamic Studies, American religions, and popular spirituality. Varieties of American Sufism: Islam, Sufi Orders, and Authority in a Time of Transition (State University of New York Press 2020) an edited volume by Elliott Bazzano (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College) and Marcia Hermansen (Professor of Theology and Director of Islamic World Studies at Loyola University Chicago), captures these complex varieties of Sufism in America. The edited volume is organized around different case studies of Sufi communities in America, which are based on ethnographic studies completed by the contributors to the volume. Some of the Sufi communities discussed include the Inayati Order, the Golden Sufi Center, Mevlevi Order of America, Alami Tariqa, Ansari Qadiri Rifa‘i Tariqa, and the Tijani Order. Throughout the different chapters various themes emerge, some of which include questions of charismatic authority

  • Majid Daneshgar, Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Majid Daneshgar, "Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    15/09/2020 Duración: 40min

    “Consider the works of the renowned Nobel-prize-winning African American writer, literary and social critic, and activist Toni Morrison (b. 1931),” writes Majid Daneshgar. “Hers—like Said’s—are popular in the West and cover most of the principal themes covered by Orientalism, including otherness, outsider-ship, exploitation and cultural colonialism and imperialism. Yet … one would be hard-pressed to find, for instance, even a free publisher’s copy of Morrison’s essay The Origin of Others, in translation or not, on the bookshelf of one of the Muslim academy’s experts on Islam or history, or politics, or sociology.” With this provocative introductory passage to set the stage for his book, Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy (Oxford University Press), Majid Daneshgar invites his readers on a journey exploring how the Muslim academy—that is, academic institutions in the Muslim-majority world—teaches Islamic Studies, with an emphasis on the Qur’an. Through his personal experience and scholarly endeavors span

  • Sean Roberts, The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Sean Roberts, "The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    11/09/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    In today’s new episode, we speak with Sean Roberts about his brand new book The War on the Uyghurs: China’s Internal Campaign against a Muslim Minority (Princeton University Press, 2020). Roberts is the Director of the International Development Studies program at George Washington University. He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Southern California and has been studying the Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic minority, for some 30 years, including for his Master’s and PhD thesis research. In this book, Sean Roberts argues that China’s violent campaign against the Uyghur Muslim population is linked to the broader, U.S-led global war on terror, showing that China appropriates the message of the war on terror as justification for persecuting this ethnic minority. Roberts provides a detailed historical account of the current crisis, of China’s settler colonialism in the Uyghur homeland, and of the ways that China relies heavily on the war on terror to imagine Uyghurs as its enemy. In today’s d

  • Muhammed Fraser-Rahim, America’s Other Muslims (Lexington Books, 2020)

    Muhammed Fraser-Rahim, "America’s Other Muslims" (Lexington Books, 2020)

    09/09/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    America's Other Muslims: Imam W.D. Mohammed, Islamic Reform, and the Making of American Islam explores the oldest and perhaps the most important Muslim community in America, whose story has received little attention in the contemporary context. Muhammad Fraser-Rahim explores American Muslim Revivalist, Imam W.D. Mohammed (1933–2008) and his contribution to the intellectual, spiritual, and philosophical thought of American Muslims as well as the contribution of Islamic thought by indigenous American Muslims. The book details the intersection of the Africana experience and its encounter with race, religion, and Islamic reform. Fraser-Rahim spotlights the emergence of an American school of Islamic thought, which was created and established by the son of the former Nation of Islam leader. Imam W.D. Mohammed rejected his father’s teachings and embraced normative Islam on his own terms while balancing classical Islam and his lived experience of Islam in the diaspora. Likewise his interpretations of Islam were not o

  • Audrey Truschke, “Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of Indias Most Controversial King” (Stanford UP, 2017)

    Audrey Truschke, “Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King” (Stanford UP, 2017)

    04/09/2020 Duración: 01h06min

    For many, the history of the Mughal empire looms heavy over contemporary South Asian social imaginaries. The lightning rod figure within modern day myths about the past is the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618-1707). Some think of him as a violent Muslim fanatic who went out of his way to oppress Hindus and destroy their temples. Others consider his nearly 50-year reign (1658–1707) one of the most consequential for pre-modern South Asian history. Audrey Truschke, Associate Professor of South Asian History at Rutgers University–Newark, wanted to probe the pre-modern archive in order to understand the historical life and legacy of Aurangzeb. In Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King (Stanford University Press, 2017) she offers a rich and detailed biographical account of his social, political, and intellectual contexts. The narrative unfolds through both a chronological portrait of the late 17th century Mughal imperial world and a thematic account of Aurangzeb’s administrative governance,

  • Shankar Nair, Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia (U California Press, 2020)

    Shankar Nair, "Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia" (U California Press, 2020)

    28/08/2020 Duración: 01h02min

    Shankar Nair’s new book Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2020) is an intellectually daring and dazzlingly imaginative study of scholarly interactions, made visible through translation, between Sanskrit and Arabo-Persian philosophical traditions in premodern South Asia. Centered on the 16th-century Persian translation Jūg Bāsisht of the major and multifaceted 10th century Sanskrit text Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, Nair details and explicates the philological, philosophical, and theological mechanisms and operations that go into an interreligious translation enterprise of this sort. Shifting seamlessly between Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian, Nair demonstrates that a close reading of the premodern archive can simultaneously disrupt nationalist historiographies while also refusing to secularize that archive in the process. He also convincingly makes a case for approaching and benefiting from the theological discourses and imagination of premod

  • A. Meleagrou-Hitchens, Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad (Harvard UP, 2020)

    A. Meleagrou-Hitchens, "Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    25/08/2020 Duración: 01h04min

    Anwar al-Awlaki was, according to one of his followers, “the main man who translated jihad into English.” By the time he was killed by an American drone strike in 2011, he had become a spiritual leader for thousands of extremists, especially in the United States and Britain, where he aimed to make violent Islamism “as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea.” In Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad (Harvard UP, 2020), Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens draws on extensive research among al-Awlaki’s former colleagues, friends, and followers, including interviews with convicted terrorists, to explain how he established his network and why his message resonated with disaffected Muslims in the West. A native of New Mexico, al-Awlaki rose to prominence in 2001 as the imam of a Virginia mosque attended by three of the 9/11 hijackers. After leaving for Britain in 2002, he began delivering popular lectures and sermons that were increasingly radical and anti-Western. In 2004 he moved to Yemen, where he e

  • Zachary Valentine Wright, Realizing Islam: The Tijaniyya in North Africa and the 18th-Century Muslim World (UNC Press, 2020)

    Zachary Valentine Wright, "Realizing Islam: The Tijaniyya in North Africa and the 18th-Century Muslim World" (UNC Press, 2020)

    21/08/2020 Duración: 01h06min

    Realizing Islam: The Tijaniyya in North Africa and the Eighteenth-Century Muslim World (The University of North Carolina Press 2020) by Zachary Valentine Wright (Associate Professor in Residence in History and Religious Studies at Northwestern University in Qatar) maps the intellectual history of the largest Sufi order in West and North Africa, the Tijaniyya. Using diverse primary and archival sources, Wright locates the life, teachings, and legacies of Ahmad al-Tijani (d. 1815) within broader 18th century Islamic scholarly milieu of jurisprudence and theology and reformist and revivalist discourses, as well as the social and political climate of European colonialism and Ottoman control. Here, it was the methodology of tahqiq, or verification, as it was formulated through visionary encounters of the Prophet Muhammad and al-Tijani, that led to the formative epistemologies that defined the Muhammadan Path (tariqa Muhammadiyya) of the Tijaniyya. This path which is centered on the living legacy of Prophet Muhamma

  • Jered Rubin, Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Jered Rubin, "Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    19/08/2020 Duración: 01h16min

    Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not (Cambridge UP, 2020) addresses one of the big questions in economics and economic history: why did the modern economy emerge in northwestern Europe at some point in the 17th or 18th century but not in the Middle East? After all, for centuries following the spread of Islam, the Middle East was far ahead of Europe – on both technological and economic terms. Jared Rubin argues that the religion itself is not to blame; the importance of religious legitimacy in Middle Eastern politics was the primary factor. In much of the Muslim world, religious authorities were given an important seat at the political bargaining table, which they used to block important advancements such as the printing press and usury. In Europe, however, the Church played a weaker role in legitimizing rule, especially where Protestantism spread (indeed, the Reformation was successful due to the spread of printing, which was blocked in the Middle East). It was preci

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