Islam : The Straight Path

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Now in a new edition, this exceptionally successful survey text introduces the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary resurgence. John L. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics. Lucidly written and expansive in scope, Islam: The Straight Path, Fourth Edition, provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions. It is ideally suited for use in courses on Islam, comparative religions, and Middle Eastern history and culture. NEW TO THE FOURTH EDITION: * A revised Chapter 5, "Religion and Politics," provides more focused and up-to-date coverage of Osama bin Laden's influence and the continued growth of extremism; the relationship of Islam to violence; the meaning of jihad and the origins of a global jihad ideology; the role of suicide bombing; and the influence of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi Islam.
* An updated Chapter 6, "The Struggle for Islam in the 21st Century," covers Muslim responses to new social and political contexts and presents the diverse and competing positions-from traditionalist to modernist-of contemporary Muslim leaders on issues of religious authority, women's rights, Shariah, violence, and terrorism. * More extensive treatment of early Islam in Chapters 1 and 2 * An enhanced art program featuring twenty-one photos and three maps * A new appendix that includes an extensive timeline of key events in the history of Islam * A FREE 6-month subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online (, edited by John L. Esposito. Please look inside for details.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Fourth Edition
  • Illustrations, 1 map
  • 0195396006
  • 9780195396003
  • 387,701

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION ; 1. MUHAMMAD AND THE QURAN: MESSENGER AND MESSAGE ; Muhammad and the Muslim Community ; Muhammad and the West ; The Quran: The Word of God ; Conclusion ; 2. THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN HISTORY ; Muhammad and the Medinan State ; The Caliphate (632-1258) ; Islam and the West: The Crusades and Muslim Response to Militant Christianity ; The Sultanate Period: Medieval Muslim Empires ; Islam in the West ; 3. RELIGIOUS LIFE: BELIEF AND PRACTICE ; Theology ; Islamic Law ; Popular Religion ; 4. MODERN ISLAMIC REFORM MOVEMENTS ; From Imperial Islam to Islamic Revivalism ; Revivalism in Islam ; Modern Islamic Movements ; Conclusion ; 5. RELIGION & POLITICS ; The Islamic Resurgence ; Ideological Worldview of Revivalism ; A Quiet Revolution ; Osama Bin Laden and Global Terrorism ; The Globalization and Hijacking of Jihad ; Sayyid Qutb: Martyr of Islamic Radicalism ; The Making of a Terrorist and his Global Jihad ; Terrorists and Suicide Bombing ; Conclusion ; 6. THE STRUGGLE FOR ISLAM IN THE 21ST CENTURY ; The Struggle in Islam: The Debate ; The Bifurcation of Society ; The Ulama and Reform ; Tradition: Anchor or Albatross? ; A Spectrum of Reformers and Approaches ; Cyberspace and High-Tech Islam ; Critical Areas of Islamic Reform ; The Challenge of Religious Pluralism ; Global Multifaith and Intercivilizational Initiatives ; The Challenge of Pluralism for Western Secular Democracies ; Conclusion
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Review quote

"This is an excellent, comprehensive, and highly accessible introduction to Islam and its civilization; Muslims and their societies in the pre-modern to the modern period; and contemporary intellectual and political trends. In my opinion, it really is the single best introduction to Islam and Muslims today. The book keeps getting better and better with each new edition!"--Asma Afsaruddin, University of Notre Dame
"I have to commend OUP for its commitment to revising and updating this important book. Esposito writes in a lucid, accessible, and direct style that allows the book to be an excellent introduction for novice students. Esposito illustrates the rare ability of being comprehensive without being reductive."--Febe Armanios, Middlebury College
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About John L. Esposito

John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and Intentational Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies, and Founding Direcotr of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Gerogetown University
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Rating details

632 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 32% (205)
4 33% (210)
3 25% (161)
2 7% (43)
1 2% (13)
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