In this timely and important work, John Esposito and John Voll explore the development of contemporary Islamic movements and thought through the biographies of nine major activist intellectuals who represent a wide range of Muslim societies. Many Muslims have combined revivalist activism with intellectual efforts, but only a few have achieved significant international visibility and influence. By examining the lives and work of nine such internationally recognized figures, Esposito and Voll provide a new understanding of the intellectual foundations of contemporary Islamic awareness and politics. Included are profiles of: Ismail Ragi al-Faruqi (U.S./Palestine), Khurshid Ahmad (India/Pakistan), Maryam Jameelah (U.S./Pakistan), Hasan Hanafi (Sudan), Rashid Ghannoushi (Tunisia), Hasan al-Turabi (Sudan), Abdolkarim Soroush (Iran), Anwar Ibrahim (Malaysia), and Abdurrahman Wahid (Indonesia).
These thinkers contributed to some of the most significant intellectual and activist developments in the Muslim world during the 1980s and 1990s--the period during which Islamic movements became a major force in Muslim societies and international affairs. They helped to organize and lead the movements of Islamic renewal and provided the conceptual foundations for the programs those movements advocate. Together, they represent a distinctive phase in the evolution of Islamic thinking: the ongoing effort to create an effective synthesis of modernity and Islamic tradition. Their work supplies the core of the Islamic resurgence of the1990s and the foundation for what it can become in the twenty-first century.
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).
"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
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