By Hastings S C Donnan
Islam is among the such a lot misunderstood innovations within the West. Myths and stereotypes encompass it. This transparent and penetrating quantity is helping readers to make feel of Islam. It bargains a penetrating advisor to the variety and richness of latest wisdom approximately Islam and Muslim society. all through, the emphasis is upon the worth of pluralistic techniques to Islam, instead of condensing complexity with unifying innovations reminiscent of `Orientalism'.
Interdisciplinary in scope and association, the e-book cuts in the course of the bewildering and possible anarchic range of up to date wisdom approximately Islam and Muslim society. The methodological problems and benefits of Western researchers targeting Islam are absolutely documented. The booklet demonstrates how gender, age, prestige and `insider' / `outsider' prestige affects upon study and inflects study findings.
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Extra info for Interpreting Islam (Politics and Culture series)
Anthropological relativism and postmodern uncertainty are dominant moods of the academy, at least in the humanities and the social sciences. Hence strong classical Orientalism has been disoriented, leaving behind weak, fragmented and contradictory versions of it. There are obviously exceptions to this scepticism towards grand narratives in writers like Francis Fukuyama’s triumphalist liberalism (1992), but generally the mood of academics appears to me more inclined to uncertainty, self-doubt or guilt.
Our perceptions have been shaped by the research of a variety of academic disciplines on radical Islam and the attention such work has been given in the popular representation of Islam through the media in the current age. Over two decades ago Edward Said (1978: 298), in his thinly veiled attack on such writing, pointed out that the impact of such work has been to present Islam as ‘a series of reductions and eliminations by which Islam could be represented as a closed system of exclusions’. This reduction of Islam, Said argued, places violence and, more specifically, acts of terrorism high on the Muslim agenda, particularly in the contemporary era when Muslims struggle with the forces of modernization and development.
Reflexive modernity is less certain of universal truths and more inclined to recognize local and particularistic visions of contingent and incomplete realities. Conclusion: Postmodernism and cosmopolitan irony Rorty (1989) has argued that postmodernism involves or requires irony, that is, a sense of distance from our beliefs (our final vocabularies), because as postmodern liberals we will be uncertain as to their ultimate validity. This irony is another way of expressing the idea that intellectuals will remain sceptical about grand narratives.
Interpreting Islam (Politics and Culture series) by Hastings S C Donnan