Terrains of Exchange offers a bold new paradigm for understanding the expansion of Islam in the modern world. Through the model of religious economy, it traces the competition between Muslim, Christian and Hindu religious entrepreneurs that transformed Islam into a proselytizing global brand. Drawing Indian, Arab, Iranian and Tatar Muslims together with Scottish missionaries and African-American converts, Nile Green brings to life the local sites of globalisation where Islam was repeatedly reinvented in modern times. Evoking terrains of exchange from Russia's imperial borderlands to the factories of Detroit and the ports of Japan, he casts a microhistorian's eye on the innovative new Islams that emerged from these sites of contact. Drawing on a multilingual range of materials, the book challenges the idea that globalisation has given rise to a unified 'global Islam.' Instead, it reveals the forces behind the fracturing of Islam in the hands of feuding and fissiparous 'religious firms'. Terrains of Exchange not only presents global history as Islamic history. It also reveals the forces of that history at work in the world today.
Nile Green is Professor of South Asian history at UCLA and founding director of the UCLA Program on Central Asia. A specialist on the Muslim communities of South Asia and the Middle East, his research brings Islamic history into conversation with global history. He has authored six monographs, including Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, which won the Albert Hourani prize and the Ananda K. Coomaraswamy prize.