No other religion in the modern world has come under such close scrutiny or been viewed as a source of so much harm to our civilization as Islam. It is routinely portrayed in the media as a promoter of terrorism, supporter of authoritarian governments, oppressor of women, and an enemy of the West. In this sympathetic assessment of the religion, renowned Christian theologian Hans Kung, demonstrates that this simplistic perception could not be further from the truth.
Providing a masterful overview of Islam's 1,400-year history, Kung's critically acclaimed bestseller examines its fundamental beliefs and practices, outlines the major schools of thought, and surveys the positions of Islam on the urgent questions of the day. Deft, assured, and comprehensive, this essential reference work is now available in paperback for the first time.
Dr. Kung is President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic (Weltethos). From 1960 until his retirement in 1996, he was Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Director of the Institute for Ecumenical Research at the University of Tubingen. He is a scholar of theology and philosophy and a prolific writer.
Introduction: Against a Clash of Civilizations A. Origin I. A controversial religion II. Problems of the beginning B. Centre I. God's word has become a book II. The central message III. The central structural elements C. History I. The original Islamic community paradigm II. The paradigm of the Arab empire III. The classical paradigm of Islam as a world religion IV. The paradigm of the Ulama and Sufi D. Challenges of the present I. Competition between different paradigms II. Which Islam do Muslims want? III. The Israel-Palestine conflict IV. New approaches to theological conversation V. Speculative questions VI. From biblical criticism to Qur'anic criticism? E. Possibilities for the future I. Islamic renewal II. The future of the Islamic legal order III. The future of Islamic state order and politics IV. The future of the Islamic economic and social order V. Islam: a picture of hope