Why has the West developed and modernized, while the Muslim world has lagged behind? Why has democracy not found a hospitable home in much of the Muslim world? And why have the opponents of innovation found their message so resonant with ordinary Muslims? Featuring essays by a multidisciplinary group of leading scholars, this volume offers in-depth analyses of the history, causes, consequences, and obstacles to innovation in Islam. Focusing on the ways and means through which the teachings of Islam have been produced and perpetuated over time, the contributors investigate such areas as the arts and letters, jurisprudence, personal status, hermeneutics and epistemology, and Muslims' perceptions of the self in the modern world. "Innovation in Islam" illuminates a debate that extends beyond semantics into everyday politics and society -and one that has ramifications around the world. Contributors: Nasr Abu-Zayd, Adonis, Mohammed Arkoun, Walter Denny, Nelly Hanna, Sherman Jackson, Patrick Laude, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Tariq Ramadan, and John Voll.
Mehran Kamrava is Interim Dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar and also the Director of the School's Center for International and Regional Studies. He is the author of The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War (second edition, UC Press) and Iran's Intellectual Revolution. He has also edited The New Voices of Islam: Rethinking Politics and Modernity (UC Press).
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments 1. Contextualizing: Innovation in Islam Mehran Kamrava Part I: The Intellectual Process 2. Knowledge and Hermeneutics in Islam Today: Which Reform? Tariq Ramadan 3. Deconstructing Episteme(s) Mohammed Arkoun 4. Iranian Shi'ism at the Gates of Historic Change Mehran Kamrava Part II: The Arts and Letters 5. History from Below, Dictionary from Below Nelly Hanna 6. The Translation of the Qur'an: An Impossible Task The Classical Linguistic-Theological Roots of the Debate Nasr Abu-Zayd 7. Toward a New Understanding of Renewal in Islam Adonis 8. Creation, Originality, and Innovation in Sufi Poetry Patrick Laude 9. Innovation in the Visual Arts of Islam Walter B. Denny Part III: Islam in the Modern World 10. Liberal/Progressive, Modern, and Modernized Islam: Muslim Americans and the American State Sherman A. Jackson 11. Hijab and Choice: Between Politics and Theology Ziba Mir-Hosseini 12. Modern Movements in Islam John O. Voll List of Contributors Index