Scholars from an extensive range of academic disciplines have focused on Islam in cyberspace and the media, but there are few historical studies that have outlined how Muslim 'ulama' have discussed and debated the introduction and impact of these new media. Muslims and the New Media explores how the introduction of the latest information and communication technologies are mirroring changes and developments within society, as well as the Middle East's relationship to the West. Examining how reformist and conservative Muslim 'ulama' have discussed the printing press, photography, the broadcasting media (radio and television), the cinema, the telephone and the Internet, case studies provide a contextual background to the historical, social and cultural situations that have influenced theological discussions; focusing on how the 'ulama' have debated the 'usefulness' or 'dangers' of the information and communication media. By including both historical and contemporary examples, this book exposes historical trajectories as well as different (and often contested) positions in the Islamic debate about the new media.
Goran Larsson holds a Ph.D. in religious studies, and his thesis has been published by Brill Academic Publishers. He has published a large number of publications on Islamic theology and Muslims in Europe and his most recent publication is the volume Islam in the Nordic and Baltic Countries (Routledge). He is also responsible for the section on Sweden and Iceland for the Yearbook of Islam in Europe and has written several entries about Islamic theology for the encyclopaedia, The Bible and its Reception.
'... a broad and useful outline of ulama responses to media. ... One of the strengths of Larsson's approach is that he wishes to avoid a monolithic description of Islam, and to demonstrate that on any given topic there are numerous Islamic positions. In this, I believe he has succeeded. I also think Larsson's overview is a good introduction to students and readers wishing for an introduction and overview of Islamic thinking and reasoning.' Temenos