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Encounters with Islam: On Religion, Politics and Modernity (Library of Modern Religion) [Hardcover]

Malise Ruthven
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 April 2012 Library of Modern Religion
Malise Ruthven is internationally known and respected for his writing on religion. 'Ruthven's greatest hits' - ideal bus, plane or train read: provocative; stimulating; and, topical. This is a perfect entree to the liveliest work in Islamic affairs of one of the leading commentators on Islam. For many years Malise Ruthven has been at the forefront of discerning commentary on the Islamic world and its relations with the predominantly secularized and Christian societies of the West. Well known for his bold interventions on such issues as the Rushdie affair and publication of The Satanic Verses; the many unresolved questions relating to the Lockerbie bombing; and, the globe-changing terrorist attack of 9/11, Ruthven's perceptive writings, particularly those that have appeared in the New York Review of Books, reliably re-frame difficult issues and problems so that his readers are prompted to look at the challenges afresh. Ruthven is here at his most compelling: he offers astute and topical insights across the whole spectrum of Middle East and Islamic studies. Whether questioning the involvement of Libyan agents in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103; exploring the contested place of women in Islam; or discussing the disputed term 'Islamofascism' (his own), the author's probing, and searchlight intelligence aims always to get at the truth of things, regardless of attendant controversy. Representing the 'best of Ruthven', these lucid essays will be widely appreciated by students, specialists and general readers. They transform our understandings of contemporary society.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178076023X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780760230
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,271,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Malise Ruthven is the leading British authority on modern Islam. His books are essential for understanding what is going on in the Middle East today, and Encounters with Islam is an ideal entrée to his thinking on some vital issues. --Robert Irwin

'There is no better guide to analysing and explaining the West's long engagement with Islam than Malise Ruthven. Accessible and - even more importantly - brilliantly judicious, his latest book is ever careful in this most treacherous of territories filled as it is with myth and fear. Here is a magisterial overview to help us understand these recent years of violent confrontation and stubborn misunderstanding. We have much to be grateful for in Ruthven's wise insights.' --Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian

'Over the last decade Malise Ruthven has consolidated his position as one of our most consistently sophisticated and stimulating writers on contemporary religion in general and Islam in particular. The essays here are as wide-ranging, versatile and intellectually curious as they are well-written, witty and constantly surprising. In a crowded field Ruthven remains way ahead of the pack.' --William Dalrymple

About the Author

Malise Ruthven, described by the Guardian as one of today's most perceptive observers and historians of religion, is internationally recognised for his work on Muslim thought and theology, fundamentalism, the social impact of religion and migration and the nexus between contemporary politics and belief. His many books include The Divine Supermarket: Travels in Search of the Soul of America (Tauris Parke Paperbacks, forthcoming) and Mormonism: An Introduction (I.B. Tauris, forthcoming).

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful research 10 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I want you to beg borrow or steal in order to buy this book, if you are a Muslim. The book is a literary review, an overarching discussion of all books about Islam in today's world. I have begun to understand the great fear of the new Europeans when confronted by the Muslim culture. It's a case of identity crises. At a time when Europe is trying to come up with a distinctive new identity, the last thing it needs is to try and absorb a very different and distant Muslim identity. How does an Europe deal with the guilt of colonialism and the Holocaust, not to forget the hundreds of years of crusades? The Jews are not so numerous and have already cashed in by claiming Israel for themselves, but what about the millions of colonists? Interestingly it is exactly this payback mentality shared by a number of Pakistani immigrants in UK. 'Time to get our share back for what they have taken away from us,' is how they justify their continued existence in UK over and over again.
This book presents both sides of the arguments categorising various authors and presenting the gestalt of their discourse on a platter. It is difficult not to admire this format as a Muslim for the shear number of explanations included between it's covers.
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