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Explores the vibrant, divided and evolving field of Islamic studies in Europe and North America
Covers topics ranging from gender and secularism to pop music and modern science

Discusses contemporary and historical approaches in Islamic Studies

Features contributions from leading scholars studying Islam and Muslims, including Shahzad Bashir, Hadi Enayat, Juliane Hammer, Aaron Hughes, Carool Kersten, Susanne Olsson and Jonas Otterbeck

Addresses the role of both Muslims and non-Muslims in the ongoing construction of Islam
The study of Islam and Muslims in Europe and North America has expanded greatly in recent decades, becoming a passionately debated and divided field. This collection critically assesses the development of the field of Islamic Studies and its place in society. Featuring contributions from anthropologists, historians and scholars of religion, each chapter contains new empirical material and discusses approaches to the study of Islam, past and present. The book situates Islamic Studies within broader discussions of the construction of identity and its political implications in Europe and North America. Authors also address tensions between normative and non-normative approaches to the study of Islam and Muslims and consider how these might be reconciled.

Table of Contents

Introduction Leif Stenberg and Philip Wood

  1. There is No Data for Islam: Testing the Utility of a Category Aaron Hughes
  2. Critics as Caretakers, Religion as Critique Carool Kersten
  3. Talal Asad and the Question of Islamic Secularities Hadi Enayat
  4. Territory at Stake! In Defence of ‘Religion’ and ‘Islam’ Susanne Olsson and Leif Stenberg
  5. Power Practices and Pop: The Islam of Zain Bhikha Jonas Otterbeck
  6. History and Contemporary Discourses on Islam, the Quran and Modern Science Leif Stenberg
  7. Paradigms of Religion and the Swift Birth of Islam: William Cantwell Smith Revisited Philip Wood
  8. Prospects for a New Idiom for Islamic History Shahzad Bashir
  9. Constructing Islamic Studies: Gender, Power and Critique as Ethical Tools Juliane Hammer

Publication Information

Edinburgh University Press




Anthropology of religion, islam, islamic Studies, muslims, religious theory, sociology of religion, studying religion

What is Islamic studies?: European and north American approaches to a contested field