Taking the perspective of anthropologist Clifford Geertz, Tibi re-approaches the problem of social change in Islam, arguing that religions represent cultural systems that both influence and are influenced by religion.
Preface to the U.S. Edition -- Introduction -- What Does the Notion of Cultural Accommodation of Social Change in Islam Mean? On the Relationship Between Religion and Culture -- Religion as a Model for Reality and the Interaction Between the Two: Islam as a Cultural System -- What is Islam? Islam in the Past and Present -- Culture—A Catalyst of Change, a Reflection of Change, or a Stumbling Block? Ascertaining the Position of Islam -- Basic Cultural Patterns for the Perception of Change in Islam: The Islamic Model for Reality1 -- Culture and Social Change: Is Underdevelopment a Given of Cultural Tradition? The Problem of Cultural Innovation in Sociology -- Social Change and the Resistance of the Islamic Sociocultural System: Law, Language, and the Educational System -- Social Change and the Potential for Flexibility in the Islamic Notion of Law: The Shari'a as an "Open Texture," Legal Hermeneutics, and the Topics Thesis -- 'Arabiyya as a Sacred Language: Arabic as a Language Between Koranic and Historical Designations -- Institutions of Learning and Education in Islam: Their Historical Contribution to the Cultural Accommodation of Change and Their Current State of Crisis -- The Politicization of Islam as a Cultural System and the Topicality of Islamic Revivalism: Islam Today -- A Religiosociological Interpretation of the Politicization of the Islamic Cultural System: Political Islam as a Defensive Cultural Reaction to Rapid Social Change1 -- Oppositional Religiopolitical Underground Organizations and the Islam-legitimated Establishment in Egypt: The Roots of the Political Resurgence of Militant Islam -- The Iranian Shi'ite Variant of Religiopolitical Revivalism: The Mullah Revolution in Iran -- Islam as Legitimation for "Royal Authority": On the Relationship Between State, Religion, and Politics in the Islam-legitimated Monarchies of Morocco and Saudi Arabia1 -- Conclusions and Future Prospects: Asymmetries in the International Society, "Demonstration Effects," and Globalized Intercultural Communication as the Structural Framework for Rapid Social Change in the Islamic Middle East