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Latest episodes from New Books in Islamic Studies

Youshaa Patel, "The Muslim Difference: Defining the Line Between Believers and Unbelievers from Early Islam to the Present" (Yale UP, 2023)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2023 94:18


According to a famous prophetic report, “Whoever imitates a people becomes one of them.” What does “imitation” here mean? Rather, what does this statement really mean at all, and how have Muslims historically understood it? How did this simple report become a doctrine in the Islamic tradition? What does this hadith mean for Muslims today, in an increasingly interreligious atmosphere and especially for those living in the West or in other non-Muslim-majority contexts? Finally, why do humans invest so much in being different and displaying their difference from those they declare as an ‘other'?  These and many other questions are answered in Youshaa Patel's exciting book The Muslim Difference: Defining the Line between Believers and Unbelievers from Early Islam to the Present, published in 2022 with Yale University Press. The book explores the issue of difference and frames the hadith as significant to Muslim interreligious encounters, showing that ideas and examples of imitation—and Muslims' understanding of the concept—have changed throughout times and in different contexts. And the debate around issues of religious difference, imitation, and Muslims' effort to distinguish themselves from non-Muslims tells us about how Muslims understand and define religion. In our conversation today, we discuss the origins of the book, some of its main arguments and findings, the prophetic reports on imitation—specifically the hadith that “whoever imitates a people becomes one of them”—its role in establishing a Sunni orthodoxy given that the hadith or the concept of tashabbuh is not found in Shii collections, and influential scholars and thinkers' development of the concept, individuals such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Najm al-Din al-Ghazzi. We also discuss examples of small differences that are not to be imitated, and Patel explains the significance and value of these small differences, which are quite powerful and symbolic. Our conversation ends with the relevance of imitation and emulation for today's Muslims, including Muhammad Abduh's Transvaal fatwa on, among other things, Muslims wearing European hats or Muslims doing Christian European things and how other Muslim scholars responded to this fatwa. Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. She earned her PhD in Islamic Studies with a focus on gender from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her dissertation research explored questions of change and tradition, specifically in the context of gender and sexuality, in Islam. She can be reached at haqqani_s@mercer.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Roma in the Medieval Islamic World

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2023 46:42


Medieval Arabic sources are full of references to the Banu Sasan (Sons of Sasan) and the Ghuraba' (Strangers), an enigmatic but captivating group who begged, told fortunes, trained animals, and practiced medicine throughout the Islamic world from the mid-7th century onwards. These groups constitute peoples who would later come to be known as the Roma. Although they both produced their own texts and were written about by outsiders, relatively little scholarship has been conducted into the Roma in the Middle East. In this episode, Dr. Kristina Richardson joins me to talk about her new book Roma in the Medieval Islamic World: Literacy, Culture, and Migration (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021). Drawing on a wide variety of literary and archaeological evidence to illuminate the practices, languages, and lived experiences of the Roma in the Middle Ages, Dr. Richardson's book argues for a central role of the Roma in medieval culture and society. We discuss nomadism and mobility among the medieval Roma, their literary and artistic outputs, languages, trades, relationships with outsiders, and contemporary issues affecting the study of the Roma in the Middle East today. Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Afsar Mohammad, "An Evening with a Sufi" (Red River, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2023 64:28


Afsar Mohammad's An Evening with a Sufi (Red River, 2022) is a collection of Afsar's Telugu poems translated into to English by Asfar and Shamala Gallagher. The stunning poems in the collection capture the stark realities of religious landscape of post-partition South Asia and is set against the backdrop of a barren panorama of village life that is reeling from political and social friction. The poems evoke Sufi saints and motherly figures (or ammas) to explore caste dynamics and sectarian differences while striking the readers with themes of exile and yearning of homeland. The poems are followed by reflections on the translation by Shamala Gallagher, an interview with the author, and two essays by David Shulman and Cheran Rudhramoorthy respectively. This provocative collection of poetry will be of interest to scholars who work on South Asian Islam and Sufism and those who think through literary and translation theory, especially from Telugu, but will also be of interest to general readers who are interested in South Asian poetry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

The Future of Iranian Resistance: A Discussion with Azadeh Moaveni

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 49:14


How strong is the Iranian resistance? And which parts of society does that resistance come from? Are there any parallels with resistance that brought down the Shah of Iran in 1979? Iran watcher NYU academic and journalist Azadeh Moaveni discusses Iranian society with Owen Bennett-Jones. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Sebastian Elischer, "Salafism and Political Order in Africa" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 65:35


Violent Islamic extremism is affecting a growing number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In some, jihadi Salafi organizations have established home bases and turned into permanent security challengers. However, other countries have managed to prevent the formation or curb the spread of homegrown jihadi Salafi organizations. In Salafism and Political Order in Africa (Cambridge UP, 2021), Sebastian Elischer provides a comparative analysis of how different West and East African states have engaged with fundamentalist Muslim groups between the 1950s and today. In doing so, he establishes a causal link between state-imposed organizational gatekeepers in the Islamic sphere and the absence of homegrown jihadi Salafism. Sebastian Elischer is an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida. His research is focused on political Islam, violent extremism, and ethnicity, and democratization in sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of Political Parties in Africa: Ethnicity and Party Formation (Cambridge University Press, 2013) Sally Sharif is Simons Foundation Canada Post-Doctoral Fellow at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of “Predicting the End of the Syrian Conflict: From Theory to the Reality of a Civil War” (2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Eren Duzgun, "Capitalism, Jacobinism and International Relations: Revisiting Turkish Modernity" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 99:30


Western interpretations of the Ottoman age of reform and the Turkish Republic often evaluate these histories against an idealized, essentialized narrative of the European history, in which a triumphant bourgeois class instigated transitions to political liberalism and capitalism. Consequently, their explanations of persistent authoritarian tendencies and statist economic development policies focus on what features of European modernity are missing or insufficiently present in Turkey.  In Capitalism, Jacobinism and International Relations: Revisiting Turkish Modernity (Cambridge UP, 2022), Eren Duzgun, argues that this approach to comparative historical analysis not only fails to grasp Ottoman and Turkish history on its own terms, but it also gets European history wrong by overlooking the variety of trajectories of political and economic development that characterized European history from the age of revolutions onwards. Duzgun argues that the concept of Jacobinism holds the key to understanding both Ottoman and Turkish modernization and transitions to modernity in continental Europe that did not correspond to the narrative of ‘bourgeois revolutions' that undergirds both liberal and Marxist theories of modernization. We will discuss the origins of the Jacobin route to modernity, how the Jacobin model relates to common understandings of capitalist political economies, and why a book about Turkish and Ottoman history needed a chapter on French history. Eren Duzgun is assistant professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham's China Campus in Ningbo, China. Geoffrey Gordon is a PhD candidate in comparative politics at the University of Virginia. Follow him on Twitter: @geofflgordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Ron Kronish, "Profiles in Peace: Voices of Peacebuilders in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" (2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2022 46:56


Rabbi Ron Kronish spent thirty years directing the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI), an interfaith organization devoted to promoting dialogue in Israel. Utilizing the tools of interfaith dialogue, the ICCI became a “council of organizations…as a tool in peacebuilding throughout the 1990's, until 2015.” (From the introduction.) In Profiles in Peace: Voices of Peacebuilders in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2022), Kronish interviews six diverse individuals whose remarkable work in peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine has contributed to creating an atmosphere conducive to developing better relations between Jews and Arabs. In our interview, Kronish highlights the important work conducted by his subjects, and brings to light important though perhaps little known efforts of men and women committed to creating peace in a troubled region. Phil Cohen is a rabbi in Columbia, MO. He's also the author of Nick Bones Underground. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Edward E. Curtis IV, "Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest" (NYU Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 40:09


The American Midwest is often thought of as uniformly white, and shaped exclusively by Christian values. However, this view of the region as an unvarying landscape fails to consider a significant community at its very heart. Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest (NYU Press, 2022) uncovers the long history of Muslims in a part of the country where many readers would not expect to find them. Edward E. Curtis IV, a descendant of Syrian Midwesterners, vividly portrays the intrepid men and women who busted sod on the short-grass prairies of the Dakotas, peddled needles and lace on the streets of Cedar Rapids, and worked in the railroad car factories of Michigan City. This intimate portrait follows the stories of individuals such as farmer Mary Juma, pacifist Kassem Rameden, poet Aliya Hassen, and bookmaker Kamel Osman from the early 1900s through World War I, the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, and World War II. Its story-driven approach places Syrian Americans at the center of key American institutions like the assembly line, the family farm, the dance hall, and the public school, showing how the first two generations of Midwestern Syrians created a life that was Arab, Muslim, and American, all at the same time. Muslims of the Heartland recreates what the Syrian Muslim Midwest looked, sounded, felt, and smelled like—from the allspice-seasoned lamb and rice shared in mosque basements to the sound of the trains on the Rock Island Line rolling past the dry goods store. It recovers a multicultural history of the American Midwest that cannot be ignored. Joseph Stuart is a scholar of African American history, particularly of the relationship between race, freedom rights, and religion in the twentieth century Black Freedom Movement. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Pamela Karimi, "Alternative Iran: Contemporary Art and Critical Spatial Practice" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 69:59


Alternative Iran offers a unique contribution to the field of contemporary art, investigating how Iranian artists engage with space and site amid the pressures of the art market and the state's regulatory regimes. Since the 1980s, political, economic, and intellectual forces have driven Iran's creative class toward increasingly original forms of artmaking not meant for official venues. Instead, these art forms appear in private homes with "trusted" audiences, derelict buildings, leftover urban zones, and remote natural sites. These unusual cultural scenes are not only sites of personal encounters, but also part of the collective experience of Iran's citizens.  Drawing on interviews with over a hundred artists, gallerists, theater experts, musicians, and designers, Pamela Karimi throws into sharp relief extraordinary art and performance activities that have received little attention outside Iran. Attending to nonconforming curatorial projects, independent guerrilla installations, escapist practices, and tacitly subversive performances, Karimi also discloses the push-and-pull games between the art community and the authorities, and discusses myriad instances of tentative coalition as opposed to outright partnership or uncompromising resistance. Illustrated with more than 120 full-color images, Alternative Iran: Contemporary Art and Critical Spatial Practice (Stanford UP, 2022) provides entry into Iran's unique artistic experiences without catering to voyeuristic curiosity around Iran's often-perceived "underground" culture. Kaveh Rafie is a PhD candidate specializing in modern and contemporary art at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His dissertation charts the course of modern art in the late Pahlavi Iran (1941-1979) and explores the extent to which the 1953 coup marks the recuperation of modern art as a viable blueprint for cultural globalization in Iran. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Geoff Harkness, "Changing Qatar: Culture, Citizenship, and Rapid Modernization" (NYU Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 41:05


Qatar, an ambitious country in the Arabian Gulf, grabbed headlines as the first Middle Eastern nation selected to host the FIFA World Cup. As the wealthiest country in the world—and one of the fastest-growing - it is known for its capital, Doha, which boasts a striking, futuristic skyline. In Changing Qatar: Culture, Citizenship, and Rapid Modernization (NYU Press, 2022), Geoff Harkness takes us beyond the headlines, providing a fresh perspective on modern-day life in the increasingly visible Gulf. Drawing on three years of immersive fieldwork and more than a hundred interviews, he describes a country in transition, one struggling to negotiate the fluid boundaries of culture, tradition, and modernity. Harkness shows how Qataris reaffirm - and challenge - traditions in many areas of everyday life, from dating and marriage, to clothing and humour, to gender and sports. A cultural study of citizenship in modern Qatar, this book offers an illuminating portrait that cannot be found elsewhere. Rituparna Patgiri is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Richard Brian Miller, "Why Study Religion?" (Oxford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2022 44:09


Can the study of religion be justified? Scholarship in religion, especially work in "theory and method," is preoccupied with matters of research procedure and thus inarticulate about the goals that motivate scholarship in the field. For that reason, the field suffers from a crisis of rationale. Richard B. Miller identifies six prevailing methodologies in the field, and then offers an alternative framework for thinking about the purposes of the discipline. Shadowing these various methodologies, he notes, is a Weberian scientific ideal for studying religion, one that aspires to value-neutrality. This ideal fortifies a "regime of truth" that undercuts efforts to think normatively and teleologically about the field's purpose and value. Miller's alternative framework, Critical Humanism, theorizes about the ends rather than the means of humanistic scholarship. Why Study Religion? (Oxford UP, 2021) offers an account of humanistic inquiry that is held together by four values: Post-critical Reasoning, Social Criticism, Cross-cultural Fluency, and Environmental Responsibility. Ordered to such purposes, Miller argues, scholars of religion can relax their commitment to matters of methodological procedure and advocate for the value of studying religion. The future of religious studies will depend on how well it can articulate its goals as a basis for motivating scholarship in the field. David Gottlieb is the Director of Jewish Studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. He is the author of Second Slayings: The Binding of Isaac and the Formation of Jewish Memory (Gorgias Press, 2019). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

David O'Brien and Melissa Shani Brown, "People, Place, Race, and Nation in Xinjiang, China: Territories of Identity" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 22:27


Entitled People, Place, Race, and Nation in Xinjiang, China: Territories of Identity (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), David O'Brien and Melissa Shani Brown's new book focuses upon the ways in which ethnic difference is writ through the banalities of everyday life: who one trusts, what one eats, where one shops, even what time one's clocks are set to (Xinjiang being perhaps one of the only places where different ethnic groups live by different time-zones). In this episode, Julie Yu-Wen Chen talk to David O'Brien and Melissa Shani Brown who are both working at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany now. The conversation unpacks how discourses of Chinese nationalism romanticise empire and promote racialised ways of thinking about Chineseness, how cultural assimilation ('Sinicisation') is being justified through the rhetoric of 'modernisation', how Islamic sites and Uyghur culture are being secularised and commodified for tourist consumption. Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Dr. Chen serves as one of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Formerly, she was chair of Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis). You can find her on University of Helsinki Chinese Studies' website, Youtube and Facebook, and her personal Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Gabriel Polley, "Palestine in the Victorian Age: Colonial Encounters in the Holy Land" (I. B. Tauris, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 67:22


In this episode I have interviewed Gabriel Polley, winner of the Ibrahim Dakkak Award for the best essay published in 2021 by the Jerusalem Quarterly. Narratives of the modern history of Palestine/Israel often begin with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and Britain's arrival in 1917. However, this work argues that the contest over Palestine has its roots deep in the 19th century, with Victorians who first cast the Holy Land as an area to be possessed by empire, then began to devise schemes for its settler colonization. The product of historical research among almost forgotten guidebooks, archives and newspaper clippings, this book presents a previously unwritten chapter of Britain's colonial desire, and reveals how indigenous Palestinians began to react against, or accommodate themselves to, the West's fascination with their ancestral land. From the travellers who tried to overturn Jerusalem's holiest sites, to an uprising sparked by a church bell and a missionary's tragic actions, to one Palestinian's eventful visit to the heart of the British Empire, Palestine in the Victorian Age: Colonial Encounters in the Holy Land (I. B. Tauris, 2022) reveals how the events of the nineteenth century have cast a long shadow over the politics of Palestine/Israel ever since. Roberto Mazza is currently an independent scholar. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at robbymazza@gmail.com. Twitter and IG: @robbyref Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Protests in Iran: Maybe not the Tocqueville Paradox

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 36:30


In mid-September of this year, a young Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini died under suspicious circumstances after her arrest by the morality police for improperly covering her hair. Her death set off a huge wave of protests across Iran – the biggest in many years. The protesters' rallying cry was “Women, Life, Freedom,” and women have indeed taken a prominent role in the demonstrations that followed Amini's death. This week on International Horizons, John Torpey talks with Ali Ansari about the protests in Iran, their ideological basis, and the interplay between state and religion in the desires of the population. Moreover, Ansari discusses the reasons why Iran supports Russia in the war on Ukraine, and how this support has boosted the attention on the protests, converting them into a transnational phenomenon. Ansari also compares the health of the Iranian and the Chinese regimes in the middle of the protests and concludes that the dire social and economic situation of the Iranian people has made them fearless and defiant of the status quo, whereas China's CCP has more leverage. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Cristina Civantos, "Jamón and Halal: Lessons in Tolerance from Rural Andalucía" (Amherst College Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 58:51


In this episode, I interview Dr. Christina Civantos (University of Miami, FL, USA) about her open access book Jamón and Halal: Lessons in Tolerance from Rural Andalucía (Amherst College Press, 2022). This case study examines a rural town in Spain's Andalucía in order to shed light on the workings of coexistence. The town of Órgiva's diverse population includes hippies from across Europe, European converts to Sufi Islam, and immigrants from North Africa. Christina Civantos combines the analysis of written and visual cultural texts with oral narratives from residents. In this book, we see that although written and especially televisual narratives about the town highlight tolerance and multiculturalism, they mask tensions and power differentials. Toleration is an ongoing negotiation and this book shows us how we can identify the points of contact that create robust, respect-based tolerance. Christina Civantos is a professor of Hispanic and Arabic literary and cultural studies at the University of Miami in Florida (USA). Her research focuses on Arabic-speaking immigrants in Hispano-America and Spain, South-South relations between Latin America and the Arab world, empire and coloniality, nationalisms, memory studies, and tolerance. She is the author of Between Argentines and Arabs: Argentine Orientalism, Arab Immigrants, and the Writing of Identity (2006), The Afterlife of al-Andalus: Muslim Iberia in Contemporary Arab and Hispanic Narratives (2017), and Jamón and Halal: Lessons in Tolerance from Rural Andalucía (2022), as well as numerous essays. Paula De La Cruz-Fernandez is a consultant, historian, and digital editor. Editor New Books Network en español. Edita CEO. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Shaul Bartal and Nesya Rubinstein-Shemer, "Hamas and Ideology: Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qara?awi on the Jews, Zionism and Israel" (Routledge, 2017)

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 31:49


Sheikh Yusūf al- Qaraḍāwī is regarded as the most influential contemporary Muslim religious figure. His best-selling book, Al-Ḥalal wal-Ḥaram fi al-Islam ("The Forbidden and the Permitted in Islam") is perhaps one of the most widely read Islamic works, after the Qur'ān. The subject of jihad in Palestine is a salient feature of Qaraḍāwī's thought and is addressed frequently in his books. His views on Israel and on the Jews shape those of many Muslims throughout the world. Hamas and Ideology: Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qara?awi on the Jews, Zionism and Israel (Routledge, 2017) paints al- Qaraḍāwī's portrait within the context of the subject of the struggle for Palestine and assesses why he is committed so fervently to the Palestinian course. It also sheds light on another important aspect of al-Qaradawi's thought, namely the marked contrast between his ideas regarding the Muslim world and his views on relations with other religions and countries. Whereas al- Qaraḍāwī is considered to be a moderate in Islamic matters, his attitude toward the Jews and to Israel is one of abiding hatred and uncompromising struggle. The book aims to classify Qaraḍāwī's thought along the axis of moderation and extremism by drawing comparisons between Qaraḍāwī's teachings and those of other Muslim jurists. Furthermore, it compares the features of antisemitic writing with that of Qaraḍāwī in order to answer the question as to whether Qaraḍāwī's teachings actually constitute an expression of anti-semitism. Despite the subject of jihad in Palestine being so central to Qaraḍāwī's thought, there has not been a comprehensive and systematic academic study of this to date. The book therefore represents a major contribution to the field and will appeal to anyone studying the Israel-Palestine conflict, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Terrorism and Political Violence. The book was published also in Hebrew by the Pardes Publishing House in 2021 Dr Nesya Rubinstein-Shemer is Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Her research focuses on classical Islamic law and the relations between Islam and Judaism. Dr Shaul Bartal is a teaching associate in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar-Ilan University. He is a specialist on Palestinian affairs and Islamic fundamentalism. Dr. Yakir Englander is the National Director of Leadership programs at the Israeli-American Council. He also teaches at the AJR. He can be reached at: Yakir1212englander@gmail.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

The Future of Religious Studies: A Conversation with Russell McCutcheon

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 76:37


Russell McCutcheon shares his views on the academic study of religion, and the path ahead for religion graduates and the field itself. McCutcheon is a professor of religious studies at the University of Alabama and a contributor to the Religious Studies Project podcast.  Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Amina Wadud, "Once in a Lifetime" (Kantara Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 66:59


In this interview, we speak with Dr. amina wadud about her latest book Once in a Lifetime (Kantara Press, 2022), a book that started out as a blog for her hajj journey back in 2012. Dr. amina wadud is Professor Emeritus of Islamic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Michigan in 1988. Her other books are Qur'an and Woman: Re-reading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective published in 1992 with Oxford UP and Inside the Gender Jihad: Women's Reform in Islam, published with Oneworld in 2006. The book is rooted in her experience of the famous five pillars of Islam, through a feminist, inclusive, and faith-centered lens. Each chapter includes relevant experiences related to the theme of the chapter, such as her specific experiences at hajj or the gendered nature of certain Islamic rituals and the ways that common understandings of these rituals might affect women. In our conversation, we talk about the theme of the masculine and the feminine that figures throughout the book, the gender of God, the Islamic concept of tawhid (monotheism, unity of God) and its relation to fractals and nature and the cosmos, and her experiences at hajj, which serve as the basis of the book. But mostly, I attempt to utilize my time with her to hear her speak about her journey through the last several decades as a Muslim academic committed to social justice and faith. The book's accessible and approachable style makes it especially useful for undergraduate religion courses, including Islam and Islam and gender specific courses. Anyone interested in personal journeys in religion, Islam and gender, Islam and religion would also benefit from this book. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Travis Zadeh, "Wonders and Rarities: The Marvelous Book That Traveled the World and Mapped the Cosmos" (Harvard UP, 2023)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2022 54:06


During the thirteenth century, the Persian naturalist and judge Zakariyyāʾ Qazwīnī authored what became one of the most influential works of natural history in the world: Wonders and Rarities. Exploring the dazzling movements of the stars above, the strange minutiae of the minerals beneath the earth, and everything in between, Qazwīnī offered a captivating account of the cosmos. With fine paintings and leading science, Wonders and Rarities inspired generations as it traveled through madrasas and courts, unveiling the magical powers of nature. Yet after circulating for centuries, first in Arabic and Persian, then in Turkish and Urdu, Qazwīnī's compendium eventually came to stand as a strange, if beautiful, emblem of medieval ignorance. In Wonders and Rarities: The Marvelous Book That Traveled the World and Mapped the Cosmos (Harvard UP, 2023), Travis Zadeh dramatically revises the place of wonder in the history of Islamic philosophy, science, and literature. From the Mongol conquests to the rise of European imperialism and Islamic reform, Zadeh shows, wonder provided an enduring way to conceive of the world--at once constituting an affective reaction, an aesthetic stance, a performance of piety, and a cognitive state. Yet through the course of colonial modernity, Qazwīnī's universe of marvels helped advance the notion that Muslims lived in a timeless world of superstition and enchantment, unaware of the western hemisphere or the earth's rotation around the sun. Recovering Qazwīnī's ideas and his reception, Zadeh invites us into a forgotten world of thought, where wonder mastered the senses through the power of reason and the pleasure of contemplation. Travis Zadeh revives the work of the thirteenth-century Persian scholar Qazwīnī, whose Wonders and Rarities was for centuries one of the most influential natural histories in the world. Inviting us to embrace anew Qazwīnī's rationalized study of nature and magic, Zadeh dramatically revises the place of wonder in the history of Islamic thought. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Beatrice Forbes Manz, "Nomads in the Middle East" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2022 47:43


A history of pastoral nomads in the Islamic Middle East, Nomads in the Middle East by Beatrice Forbes Manz (Cambridge University Press, 2021) charts the rise of nomadic power from the formation of Islam through the Middle Ages, when Mongols and Turks ruled most of the region, to the decline of nomadic power in the twentieth century. Offering a vivid insight into the impact of nomads on the politics, culture, and ideology of the region, Beatrice Forbes Manz examines and challenges existing perceptions of these nomads, including the popular cyclical model of nomad-settled interaction developed by Ibn Khaldun. Looking at both the Arab Bedouin and the nomads from the Eurasian steppe, Manz demonstrates the significance of Bedouin and Turco-Mongolian contributions to cultural production and political ideology in the Middle East, and shows the central role played by pastoral nomads in war, trade, and state-building throughout history. Nomads provided horses and soldiers for war, the livestock and guidance which made long-distance trade possible, and animal products to provision the region's growing cities. Maggie Freeman is a PhD student in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Nile Green, "The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen's London" (Princeton UP, 2015)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 73:39


In July 1815, six Iranian students arrived in London under the escort of their chaperone, Captain Joseph D'Arcy. Their mission was to master the modern sciences behind the rapid rise of Europe. Over the next four years, they lived both the low life and high life of Regency London, from being down and out after their abandonment by D'Arcy to charming their way into society and landing on the gossip pages. The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen's London (Princeton UP, 2015) tells the story of their search for love and learning in Jane Austen's England. Drawing on the Persian diary of the student Mirza Salih and the letters of his companions, Nile Green vividly describes how these adaptable Muslim migrants learned to enjoy the opera and take the waters at Bath. But there was more than frivolity to their student years in London. Burdened with acquiring the technology to defend Iran against Russia, they talked their way into the observatories, hospitals, and steam-powered factories that placed England at the forefront of the scientific revolution. All the while, Salih dreamed of becoming the first Muslim to study at Oxford. The Love of Strangers chronicles the frustration and fellowship of six young men abroad to open a unique window onto the transformative encounter between an Evangelical England and an Islamic Iran at the dawn of the modern age. This is that rarest of books about the Middle East and the West: a story of friendships. Nile Green is professor of history at UCLA. His many books include Sufism: A Global History. He lives in Los Angeles. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Ken Chitwood, "The Muslims of Latin America and the Caribbean" (Lynn Rienner, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 75:58


Ken Chitwood's book The Muslims of Latin America and the Caribbean (Lynn Rienner Publishers Inc, 2021) is a provocation to its readers to include Latin American and Caribbean Muslim histories and contemporary expressions of piety in our studies of Islam and Muslim societies, particularly those committed to the theorization of global Islam. The book synthesizes histories and scholarship of Latin American and Caribbean Muslim's narratives, but also draws on ethnographic study conducted across the hemisphere to provide complex textures and layers to how Muslim identities are constructed and negotiated in diverse regions of Brazil, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and much more. The first half of the book maps historical lineages and conjectures of Muslim histories and claims that inform Latin American and Caribbean Muslim imaginations, such as of potential pre-Columbian contact, and connections with Spain, as well as the enduring legacies of enslaved African Muslims across the Black Atlantic and indentured servants (from India and Indonesia) and (Arab) immigrants. The second half shifts to contemporary Muslim communities and their various global entanglements as it is informed by Islamic praxis. Some of these expressions act as prisms that illuminate densities of Islamic orthodoxy, economics, capitalism, transnational flows (of material and popular culture), and politics. Examples of some topics discussed include the halal economy in Brazil, Sufi missionary activities in Mexico or contestations for Sunni hegemony over a mosque in Havana, Cuba. These chapters in the latter half of the book are insightful, fascinating, and nuanced case studies that would be of interest to various academic and non-academic readers, but can also be great teaching tools in the classroom as they work as stand-alone chapters. From its rich historical contextualization to its engagement of numerous contemporary issues that overlap and problematize topics of Islamophobia, orientalism, piety, spatial flows, geographies, transnationalism and diaspora, and global Islam, this book is a must read for scholars who work on Islam at the crossroads of various intersections. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen's University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Abiodun Alao, "Rage and Carnage in the Name of God: Religious Violence in Nigeria" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 56:52


In Rage and Carnage in the Name of God (Duke University Press, 2022), Dr. Abiodun Alao examines the emergence of a culture of religious violence in postindependence Nigeria, where Christianity, Islam, and traditional religions have all been associated with violence. He investigates the root causes and historical evolution of Nigeria's religious violence, locating it in the forced coming together of disparate ethnic groups under colonial rule, which planted the seeds of discord that religion, elites, and domestic politics exploit. Dr. Alao discusses the histories of Christianity, Islam, and traditional religions in the territory that became Nigeria, the effects of colonization on the role of religion, the development of Islamic radicalization and its relation to Christian violence, the activities of Boko Haram, and how religious violence intermixes with politics and governance. In so doing, he uses religious violence as a way to more fully understand intergroup relations in contemporary Nigeria. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

On Edward Said's "Orientalism"

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 35:39


Beginning in the 17th century, European countries began colonizing countries east of Europe. They imposed their own ideas over local cultures and extracted free labor and resources. One way that European colonizers justified this exploitation was through an academic discipline called Orientalism. In 1978, Edward Said, a professor of literature at Columbia University, published a book of the same name, Orientalism. In his critique, he challenged Europeans' construction of the so-called “East,” laid bare the biases of Orientalist study, and transformed the course of humanities scholarship. Stathis Gourgouris is a professor of classics, English, and comparative literature at Columbia University. He is the author of books such as Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization, and the Institution of Modern Greece and Does Literature Think?: Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Aisha Khan, "The Deepest Dye: Obeah, Hosay, and Race in the Atlantic World" (Harvard UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 75:00


In The Deepest Dye: Obeah, Hosay, and Race in the Atlantic World (Harvard University Press, 2021), Aisha Khan explores how colonial categories of race and religion together created identities and hierarchies that today are vehicles for multicultural nationalism and social critique in the Caribbean and its diasporas. When the British Empire abolished slavery, Caribbean sugar plantation owners faced a labor shortage. To solve the problem, they imported indentured “coolie” laborers, Hindus and a minority Muslim population from the Indian subcontinent. Indentureship continued from 1838 until its official end in 1917. The Deepest Dye begins on post-emancipation plantations in the West Indies—where Europeans, Indians, and Africans intermingled for work and worship—and ranges to present-day England, North America, and Trinidad, where colonial-era legacies endure in identities and hierarchies that still shape the post-independence Caribbean and its contemporary diasporas. Aisha Khan focuses on the contested religious practices of obeah and Hosay, which are racialized as “African” and “Indian” despite the diversity of their participants. Obeah, a catch-all Caribbean term for sub-Saharan healing and divination traditions, was associated in colonial society with magic, slave insurrection, and fraud. This led to anti-obeah laws, some of which still remain in place. Hosay developed in the West Indies from Indian commemorations of the Islamic mourning ritual of Muharram. Although it received certain legal protections, Hosay's mass gatherings, processions, and mock battles provoked fears of economic disruption and labor unrest that led to criminalization by colonial powers. The proper observance of Hosay was debated among some historical Muslim communities and continues to be debated now. In a nuanced study of these two practices, Aisha Khan sheds light on power dynamics through religious and racial identities formed in the context of colonialism in the Atlantic world, and shows how today these identities reiterate inequalities as well as reinforce demands for justice and recognition. Aisha Khan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests focus on the ways that race and religion intersect in the Atlantic world, particularly in the production of identities and political culture. Her work also is concerned with Asian and African diasporas in the Americas, indenture as a system of labor, the carceral state, and the prison industrial complex. She has published in numerous journals and anthologies. Her other books include Callaloo Nation: Metaphors of Race and Religious Identity among South Asians in Trinidad (Duke University Press, 2004) and Islam and the Americas (University Press of Florida, 2015). She has also been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research interests lie at the intersection of Urban Geography, Social Exclusion and Psychology. His dissertation research focuses on the link among negative psychosocial dispositions, exclusion, and under-development among marginalized communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. You can find him on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Peter Adamson, "Don't Think for Yourself: Authority and Belief in Medieval Philosophy" (U Notre Dame Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 62:36


In Don't Think for Yourself: Authority and Belief in Medieval Philosophy (U Notre Dame Press, 2022), Peter Adamson provides an answer to a question as relevant today as it was in the medieval period: how and when should we turn to the authoritative expertise of other people in forming our own beliefs? He challenges us to reconsider our approach to this question through a constructive recovery of the intellectual and cultural traditions of the Islamic world, the Byzantine Empire, and Latin Christendom. Adamson begins by foregrounding the distinction in Islamic philosophy between taqlid, or the uncritical acceptance of authority, and ijtihad, or judgment based on independent effort, the latter of which was particularly prized in Islamic law, theology, and philosophy during the medieval period. He then demonstrates how the Islamic tradition paves the way for the development of what he calls a “justified taqlid,” according to which one develops the skills necessary to critically and selectively follow an authority based on their reliability. The book proceeds to reconfigure our understanding of the relation between authority and independent thought in the medieval world by illuminating how women found spaces to assert their own intellectual authority, how medieval writers evaluated the authoritative status of Plato and Aristotle, and how independent reasoning was deployed to defend one Abrahamic faith against the other. This clear and eloquently written book will interest scholars in and enthusiasts of medieval philosophy, Islamic studies, Byzantine studies, and the history of thought. Peter Adamson is professor of philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat. Jackson Reinhardt is a graduate of University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University. He is currently an independent scholar, freelance writer, and research assistant. You can reach Jackson at jtreinhardt1997@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @JTRhardt Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

John Jeffries Martin, "A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World" (Yale UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 58:04


Professor Martin's A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World (Yale, 2022) is a survey of Early Modern European history from the Age of Discovery to the French Revolution with two important distinctions. First, Professor Martin views modernity through the enduring dream of the Apocalypse (which he calls the “stamp of modernity,” 250); second, he compares the Christian philosophy of the Apocalypse to the views of the two other great European religious traditions in this era—Judaism and Islam. The result is a magisterial survey of the age that presents familiar stories examined from a new angle. Christians, Muslims, and Jews alike understood the rapidly-changing, modern world they shared in terms of their common Abrahamic faith with its messianic elements, or “Apocalyptic Braid” (13). And, in addition, Christian Habsburgs and Muslim Ottomans entertained competing narratives of World Empire contested on continental battlefields and in the Mediterranean Sea as well as in literature. The Beautiful Ending ultimately was both the balm for the terrible uncertainties of the age but also a motivation for the modern Europeans to shape their own destiny—a motivation that Professor Martin argues has remained with us until today—“the idea that we are not simply made by history but also make history continues to stem from faith, and it matters little whether or not this faith is religious” (247). John Jeffries Martin is a historian of early modern Europe at Duke University. He specializes in social, cultural, and intellectual history of Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is the author of Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City (1993), which won the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association, Myths of Renaissance Individualism (2004), as well as this book, A Beautiful Ending. He is the author of over 50 articles and essays and several edited volumes, including The Renaissance World (2007). After recording this interview about history for the New Books in History Podcast, Krzysztof Odyniec and John Jeffries Martin recorded a second conversation about Apocalypse from the Early Modern period to the present day for the Almost Good Catholics podcast; the link is here. Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel. His forthcoming book is Diplomacy at the Edges of Empires: Johannes Dantiscus in Spain, 1519-1352 (published by Brepols). He also hosts and produces the Almost Good Catholics podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Saskia Warren, "British Muslim Women in the Cultural and Creative Industries" (Edinburgh UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 43:52


Why is religion important in understanding creative industries? In British Muslim Women in the Cultural and Creative Industries (Edinburgh University Press, 2022), Saskia Warren, a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester, presents an analysis of the fashion, digital media, and visual arts industries to show, for the first time, the centrality of faith and religion to any intersectional analysis of contemporary cultural production and consumption. The book uses in depth interviews, as well as a rich and detailed understanding of institutions and trends, to map the unique experiences of British Muslim women. Offering insights as to the barriers and exclusions, as well as the successes and forms of resistance, experienced by this community, the book is essential reading across social sciences and the humanities, as well as for anyone interested in understanding how culture is made today. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Michael Francis Laffan, "Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945" (Columbia UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 126:29


Michael Francis Laffan's Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945 (Columbia University Press, 2022) traces a tapestry of historical actors, empires, and ideas across the Indian Ocean world. Starting with an imam banished from eastern Indonesia to the Cape of Good Hope in 1780 to build a new Muslim community with a mix of fellow exiles, enslaved people, and even the men tasked with supervising his detention. To nineteenth-century colonial chroniclers who invent the legend of the “loyal Malay” warrior, whose anger can be tamed through the “mildness” of British rule. And a Tunisian-born teacher who arrived in Java from Istanbul in the early twentieth century becomes an enterprising Arabic-language journalist caught between competing nationalisms. Telling these stories and many more, Michael Laffan offers a sweeping exploration of two centuries of interactions among Muslim subjects of empires and future nation-states around the Indian Ocean world. Under Empire follows interlinked lives and journeys, examining engagements with Western, Islamic, and pan-Asian imperial formations to consider the possibilities for Muslims in an imperial age. It ranges from the dying era of the trading companies in the late eighteenth century through the period of Dutch and British colonial rule up to the rise of nationalist and cosmopolitan movements for social reform in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Laffan emphasizes how Indian Ocean Muslims by turn asserted loyalty to colonial states in pursuit of a measure of religious freedom or looked to the Ottoman Empire or Egypt in search of spiritual unity. Bringing the history of Southeast Asian Islam to African and South Asian shores, Under Empire is an expansive and inventive account of Muslim communal belonging on the world stage. Michael Francis Laffan is professor of history and Paula Chow Chair in International and Regional Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Islamic Nationhood and Colonial Indonesia (2003) and The Makings of Indonesian Islam (2011) as well as the editor of Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal (2017). Kelvin Ng co-hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Tamara Fernando co-hosted the episode. She is a Past & Present postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Historical Research, London, and an incoming assistant professor in the history of the global south at SUNY Stony Brook University. Her present book project, Of Mollusks and Men, is a history of pearl diving across the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mannar and the Mergui archipelago. She is interested in histories of science, environment, and labour across the Indian Ocean. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at PrincetonUniversity, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law, the occult, and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners' feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Yohanan Friedmann, "Messianic Ideas and Movements in Sunni Islam" (Oneworld Academic, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2022 59:06


In his fascinating and painstakingly research new book Messianic Ideas and Movements in Sunni Islam (Oneworld Academic, 2022), the noted scholar of Islam Yohanan Friedmann details the religious thought and political movements of multiple actors who made messianic claims in premodern and modern Islam, spanning sites including South Asia, North Africa, and the Sudan. Over the course of this book, we learn extensively about a range of less known intellectual traditions-in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu-on questions of messianism and apocalypse in Muslim thought and history. Centered on the lives, messianic claims and aspirations, as well as the tensions and contradictions hovering over some of the most prominent Muslim actors across time and space, Friedmann highlights with glistening brilliance the importance of messianism to Sunni Islam. Throughout the book, Friedmann unleashes his signature prowess of presenting unexpected, finely grained, and yet eminently accessible readings of an encyclopedic reservoir of difficult texts and sources. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley et al., "Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women" (Indiana UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2022 64:32


Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz, and Sunil Sharma's edited anthology Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women (Indiana University Press 2022) is a collection of travel writings from the late 19th century to the early and mid-20th century. It captures the fascinating lives of diverse Muslim women as they travelled for religious pilgrimage, political reasons, education, and for leisure. This anthology not only recovers the voices of women from a broad range of languages, Urdu, Punjabi, Turkish, and Persian but also provides the historical and cultural contexts necessary to understand the full significance of what these women were trying to convey of their experiences in their context. Such fascinating travel excerpts include those of Mirza Khalil and the Nur Begum's pilgrimage to hajj or those of the Egyptian Huda Shaarawi or Amina Said's travel related to their thinking of feminism, the Indonesian communist Suharti Suwarto's visit to the Soviet Union or the Indian nurse Mehr al-Nisa navigating new life in Ohio, to name just a few of the 45 examples documented here. The historical experiences of Muslim women offers a fascinating and understudied point of insight into the role of imperial, colonial, and global history.  The original texts gathered are accessible via the accompanying website for you to check out and explore. This anthology will be of interest to anyone working on travel, colonial history, Muslim women, and comparative literature, Islamic Studies. It will also be an excellent resource in many courses that cover a range of topics be it religious piety, feminism, travel, travel writing, and much more. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen's University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

The Future of the Taliban: A Discussion with Ahmed Rashid

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022 35:14


Are the Afghan Taliban now unbeatable? They have had two remarkable victories, first seeing off the Soviets and then the Americans. But while Afghans may be prepared to fight for them, do they actually want to live under them? And what kind of government have they formed? Join this conversation between Owen Bennett Jones and Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid whose book Taliban: The Power of Militant Islam in Afghanistan and Beyond became an international best seller. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Sarah Fatima Waheed, "Hidden Histories of Pakistan: Censorship, Literature, and Secular Nationalism in Late Colonial India" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2022 59:32


Censorship, Urdu literature, Islam, and progressive secular nationalisms in colonial India and Pakistan have a complex, intertwined history. Sarah Waheed, Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, offers a timely examination of the role of progressive Muslim intellectuals in the Pakistan movement in her new book, Hidden Histories of Pakistan: Censorship, Literature, and Secular Nationalism in Late Colonial India (Cambridge University Press, 2022). She delves into how these left-leaning intellectuals drew from long-standing literary traditions of Islam in a period of great duress and upheaval, complicating our understanding of the relationship between religion and secularism.  Rather than seeing 'religion' and 'the secular' as distinct and oppositional phenomena, this book demonstrates how these concepts themselves were historically produced in South Asia and were deeply interconnected in the cultural politics of the left. Through a detailed analysis of trials for blasphemy, obscenity, and sedition, and feminist writers, Waheed argues that Muslim intellectuals engaged with socialism and communism through their distinctive ethical and cultural past. In so doing, she provides a fresh perspective on the creation of Pakistan and South Asian modernity. In our conversation we discuss leftist Muslim ideals, Urdu literary network, deconstructing the religious/secular binary, the banning of the controversial “Burning Embers” collection, the renowned writer Saadat Hasan Manto, the politics of sexuality, South Asia's colonial legacies, poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Islamic traditions of aesthetics and ethics, legal trials on obscenity and blasphemy, feminist poet Fahmida Riaz, the gender politics of progressive intellectual spaces, and notions of South Asian Muslim nationalism and communal identity. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Emily Jane O'Dell, "The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master" (St. Martin's Essentials, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 38:39


The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master (St. Martin's Press, 2022), written by Dr. Emily Jane O'Dell was published by St. Martin's Press in 2022. In this rich and insightful book, Dr. O'Dell takes us through her own spiritual and physical travels, as well as gives us historical and Islamic mystic context to help us understand and cherish the words of Rumi on a deeper level. As one of the world's most loved poets, Rumi's poems are celebrated for their message of love and their beauty, but too often they are stripped of their mystical and spiritual meanings. The Gift of Rumi offers a new reading of Rumi, contextualizing his work against the broader backdrop of Islamic mysticism and adding a richness and authenticity that is lacking in many Westernized conceptions of his work. Author Emily Jane O'Dell has studied Sufism both academically, in her work and research at Harvard, Columbia, and the American University of Beirut, and in practice, learning from a Mevlevi master and his whirling dervishes in Istanbul. She weaves this expertise throughout The Gift of Rumi, sharing a new vision of Rumi's classic work. At the heart of Rumi's mystical poetry is the “religion of love” which transcends all religions. Through his majestic verses of ecstasy and longing, Rumi invites us into the religion of the heart and guides us to our own loving inner essence. The Gift of Rumi gives us a key to experiencing this profound and powerful invitation, allowing readers to meet the master in a new way. Meg Gambino is an artist and activist currently working as the Client and Community Relations Manager at a local nonprofit focused on ending hunger in North Penn. Her life mission is to creatively empower others by modeling reconciliation between communities of people and people on the margins. Find her on Instagram @megambino. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Waleed Ziad, "Hidden Caliphate: Sufi Saints Beyond the Oxus and Indus" (Harvard UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2022 94:21


Today, we speak with Waleed Ziad, about his book Hidden Caliphate: Sufi Saints beyond the Oxus and Indus, published in 2021 with Harvard University Press. Ziad is an assistant professor of Religion at UNC Chapel Hill and holds a PhD from Yale. In Hidden Caliphate, Ziad offers an incredibly rich, fascinating, and detailed study of Sufi networks. These are expansive networks that span a wide array of geography, from Afghanistan to China to Siberia. Challenging dominant and often simplistic narratives of the region, reduced to the story of the Great Game, the book centers on the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi Sufi order, the hidden caliphate in Ziad's title, who play instrumental roles in shaping the religious, social, political, and intellectual landscapes of Central and South Asia. Ziad shows that these networks stay alive well into the 20th century, in a period that other scholars have argued is one of decline, with their legacy and influence still alive today, embedded in everyday life and culture throughout the region. The book is a riveting telling of the mujaddidis' impact on Muslim reformist movements and their responses to the decline of Muslim political power. In our discussion today, we talk about Ziad's arguments and contributions. Some of the specific themes we cover in this discussion are Islamic sovereignty and kingship, millenarian eschatology, Sufis as scholars and scholars as Sufis, intellectuals, and teachers, Sufism's connection with orthodoxy, parallels between Sufi training and Tantric Buddhist esoterism, the woman question in the book, and colonialism and its impact on the Mujaddidis. Shehnaz Haqqani is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Mercer University. She earned her PhD in Islamic Studies with a focus on gender from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her dissertation research explored questions of change and tradition, specifically in the context of gender and sexuality, in Islam. She can be reached at haqqani_s@mercer.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Mohamed Abdou, "Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances" (Pluto Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 74:16


In his new book Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances (Pluto Press, 2022), Mohamed Abdou reimagines the parameters of political Islam and the possibilities of anarchistic interpretation of Islam and Islamic interpretation of anarchism, which is conceptualized as “Anarcha-Islam.” Rooted in the hermeneutical tradition of the Qur'an, the study draws from radical Indigenous, Black, Islamic anarchistic, and social movements discourses, as well as BIPOC and Queer thought. In outlining the commitments of anarcha-Islam, the book covers topics of non-authoritarian structures of governmentality, non-capitalist approaches to property and caretaking, and approaches to self-defensive violence. The book will be of use to scholars who think and teach on Qur'anic hermeneutics, political Islam, social movements, critical race studies, and decolonial approaches to Islam and Muslim communities. The book is also written particularly for activists on the ground involved in social movements and organizing. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen's University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

L. L. Wynn and Angel M. Foster, "Sex in the Middle East and North Africa" (Vanderbilt UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 65:10


L. L. Wynn and Angel M. Foster,'s edited volume Sex in the Middle East and North Africa (Vanderbilt UP, 2022) examines the sexual practices, politics, and complexities of the modern Arab world. Short chapters feature a variety of experts in anthropology, sociology, health science, and cultural studies. Many of the chapters are based on original ethnographic and interview work with subjects involved in these practices and include their voices. The book is organized into three sections: Single and Dating, Engaged and Married, and It's Complicated. The allusion to categories of relationship status on social media is at once a nod to the compulsion to categorize, recognition of the many ways that categorization is rarely straightforward, and acknowledgment that much of the intimate lives described by the contributors is mediated by online technologies. Mathew Gagné is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Tilde Rosmer, "The Islamic Movement in Israel" (U Texas Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 80:13


Since its establishment in the late 1970s, Israel's Islamic Movement has grown from a small religious revivalist organization focused on strengthening the faith of Muslim Palestinian citizens of Israel to a countrywide sociopolitical movement with representation in the Israeli legislature. But how did it get here? How does it differ from other Islamic movements in the region? Particularly, what are the differences and connections – if any – with Hamas? And why does its membership continue to grow? Tilde Rosmer examines these issues in The Islamic Movement in Israel (U Texas Press, 2022) as she tells the story of the movement, its identity, and its activities. Using interviews with movement leaders and activists, their documents, and media reports from Israel and beyond, she traces the movement's history from its early days to its 1996 split over the issue of its relationship to the state. She then tell us how the two factions have functioned since, revealing that while leaders of the two branches have pursued different approaches to the state, until the outlawing of the Northern Branch in 2015, both remained connected and dedicated to providing needed social, education, and health services in Israel's Palestinian towns and villages. The first book in English on this group, The Islamic Movement in Israel is a timely study about how an Islamist movement operates within the unique circumstances of the Jewish state that may also help the listeners to make sense of the upcoming Israeli elections. Roberto Mazza is visiting professor at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at robbymazza@gmail.com. Twitter and IG: @robbyref Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Matthew Teller, "Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City" (Other Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 51:40


Jerusalem's Old City is normally understood to be split into four quarters: the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter. Those designations can be found on maps, on guidebooks, on news articles, and countless other pieces of writing about the city. But as Matthew Teller points out in his latest book, Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City (Profile Books / Other Press, 2022): the idea of the “four quarters” is entirely a nineteenth century creation, invented by a couple of British mapmakers. Instead, Teller explores Jerusalem and all its myriad peoples–not just the Israelis and the Palestinians, but the Africans, Syrians, and other peoples that call the holy city their home. In this interview, Matthew and I talk about how we should actually think about Jerusalem, and all the different people that make the city what it is today. Matthew Teller writes for the BBC, The Guardian, Times of London, Financial Times, and other global media. He has produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio and has reported for the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent program from around the Middle East and beyond. He is the author of several travel guides, including the Rough Guide to Jordan (Rough Guides: 2012). He is also the author of Quite Alone: Journalism from the Middle East 2008–2019. He can be followed on Twitter at @matthewteller. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Nine Quarters of Jerusalem. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Aniket De, "The Boundary of Laughter: Popular Performances Across Borders in South Asia" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 37:41


Combining archival research with ethnographic fieldwork, Aniket De's book The Boundary of Laughter: Popular Performances Across Borders in South Asia (Oxford UP, 2022) explores how spaces of popular performance have changed with the emergence of national borders in modern South Asia. The author traces the making of the popular theater form called Gambhira by Hindu and Muslim peasants and laborers in colonial Bengal, and explores the fate of the tradition after the Partition of the region in 1947. Drawing on a rich and hitherto unexplored archive of Gambhira songs and plays, this book provides a new approach for studying popular performances as shared spaces-that can accommodate peoples across national and religious boundaries. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, "Minority Of One: The Unchaining of an Arab Mind" (2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 43:34


“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” ― George Orwell, 1984 How do people change? How does someone living in a closed and oppressive society develop insights and a worldview at odds with everything around them and everyone they know? This is the journey of change for one such person. Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, born in 1989 in Cairo, Egypt received a conservative Muslim education and grew up religiously devout, originally wanting to become a jihadist. While witnessing the creeping radicalization of society, he developed his own personal beliefs, pursuing with strength and determination the right to live freely. He participated in the Arab Spring protests in 2011 and soon afterward sought political asylum in the United States which was granted in 2014. Hussein has since served as an Assistant Professor of Hebrew Language at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, become a U.S citizen in 2017, served in the U.S Army Reserve, and is currently a public speaker, a blogger and an advocate for peace and education. Through a very circuitous route, Hussein Aboubakr grew to challenge the all-pervasive propaganda in his native Egypt, driving its citizens to hate the West and all Infidels, in particular The United States, the state of Israel and the Jewish people. His deeply inquisitive intellect led him to suffer interrogations, imprisonments and torture, until finally being granted political asylum in the U.S. Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network's Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at reneeg@vanleer.org.il Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

Asad Q. Ahmed, "Palimpsests of Themselves: Logic and Commentary in Postclassical Muslim South Asia" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 44:55


In his dense yet delightful new book Palimpsests of Themselves: Logic and Commentary in Postclassical Muslim South Asia (University of California Press, 2022), Asad Ahmad examines in layered detail the textual and commentarial tradition on the discipline in logic in early modern and modern South Asia, while constantly connecting his study to broader Muslim intellectual currents beyond South Asia. Focused on the seventeenth century text Sullam al-‘Ulum (The Ladder of the Sciences) by Muhibullah al-Bihari, Ahmed treats his readers to a journey through the operations, ambiguities, and possibilities of the dizzyingly complex yet enormously profitable landscape of the logic tradition in South Asian Islam. Textually magisterial, historically grounded, and ferociously erudite, this book breaks new and critical ground about an extremely important topic that is yet all too infrequently studied. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/islamic-studies

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