This comprehensive survey of contemporary Islam provides a philosophical and theological approach to the issues faced by Muslims and the question of global secularisation. Engaging with critics of modern Islam, Shabbir Akhtar sets out an agenda of what his religion is and could be as a political entity.
Exploring the views and arguments of philosophical, religious and political thinkers, the author covers a raft of issues faced by Muslims in an increasingly secular society. Chapters are devoted to the Qur’an and Islamic literature; the history of Islam; Sharia law; political Islam; Islamic ethics; and political Islam’s evolving relationship with the West. Recommending changes which enable Muslims to move from their imperial past to a modest role in the power structures of today’s society, Akhtar offers a detailed assessment of the limitations and possibilities of Islam in the modern world.
Providing a vision for an empowered yet rational Islam that distances itself from both Islamist factions and Western secularism, this book is an essential read for students and scholars of Islamic studies, religion, philosophy and politics.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: The Prophetic Consummation: Islam as Original and Final Religion 1. A Prophetic Religion 2. A Literary Religion 3. A Universal Religion Part II: The Twin Birth: Islam as Empowered Religion 4. A Political Religion: Muhammad as Statesman 5. A Secular Religion: Faith or Ideology? 6. A Legal Religion 7. An Imperial Religion Part III: The Crucible of Reason: Islam as Contemporary Religion 8. A Rational Religion 9. An Ethical Religion 10. A Private Religion Part IV: Epilogue 11. The Future Scope of an Imperial Faith
Shabbir Akhtar is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Old Dominion University, USA. This political work is a sequel to his philosophical treatise The Quran and the Secular Mind (Routledge, 2007). He has written a number of articles and books on philosophy of religion, Christianity and Islam, and is currently working on a book on Islamic humanism.