Interpreting Islam

Interpreting Islam : Bandali Jawzi's Islamic Intellectual History

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This work makes available for the first time in English a seminal text of Arab modernism. Originally published in 1928, Jawzi's book The History of Intellectual Movements in Islam offered the first Marxist interpretation of the development of Islamic thought, arguing that Muslim society in the industrial age must adopt a socialist economic system. Tamara Sonn provides an extensive contextualizing and interpretive introduction to her readable translation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 164.1 x 243.6 x 22.1mm | 587.22g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195100514
  • 9780195100518

Back cover copy

In this book, Tamara Sonn provides the first English translation of The History of Intellectual Movements in Islam (1928), a seminal text of Arab modernism written by the Palestinian intellectual Bandali al-Jawzi (1871-1942). In that book, Jawzi offered the first Marxist interpretation of the history and development of Islamic thought. The continuing importance of his work lies in Jawzi's critical method of reevaluating both European "orientalism" and classical Muslim heresiography. Fifty years before Edward Said's landmark Orientalism, Jawzi identified the source of weakness in both as concern for vested imperial interest. Sonn's translation brings to life his skillful and entertaining critique. Her introduction places Jawzi's thought in context with both postmodern intellectuals and Muslim reformists who continue the struggle to apply Islamic principles to contemporary life.
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Review quote

Professor Sonn has produced a smooth translation. her introduction and commentary, which is a monograph in itself, places Jawzi's work in a contemporary and meaningful perspective. * Fawzi M. Najjar, Journal of the American Oriental Scoiety 119.4 *
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