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    • April 2013
    • 9780231161473
  • 328 Pages
  • 8

  • Paperback
  • $32.00
  • / £24.00

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    • April 2013
    • 9780231161466
  • 328 Pages
  • 8

  • Hardcover
  • $95.00
  • / £70.00

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    • April 2013
    • 9780231531924
  • 328 Pages
  • 8

  • E-book
  • $31.99
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Muslim Identities

An Introduction to Islam

Aaron W. Hughes

Rather than focus solely on theological concerns, this well-rounded introduction takes an expansive view of Islamic ideology, culture, and tradition, sourcing a range of historical, sociological, and literary perspectives. Neither overly critical nor apologetic, this book reflects the rich diversity of Muslim identities across the centuries and counters the unflattering, superficial portrayals of Islam that are shaping public discourse today.

Aaron W. Hughes uniquely traces the development of Islam in relation to historical, intellectual, and cultural influences, enriching his narrative with the findings, debates, and methodologies of related disciplines, such as archaeology, history, and Near Eastern studies. Hughes's work challenges the dominance of traditional terms and concepts in religious studies, recasting religion as a set of social and cultural facts imagined, manipulated, and contested by various actors and groups over time. Making extensive use of contemporary identity theory, Hughes rethinks the teaching of Islam and religions in general and helps facilitate a more critical approach to Muslim sources. For readers seeking a non-theological, unbiased, and richly human portrait of Islam, as well as a strong grasp of Islamic study's major issues and debates, this textbook is a productive, progressive alternative to more classic surveys.

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline and Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction.

"[A] truly extraordinary book.... the very best introduction currently available in English for non-Muslims seeking a sound approach to Islam." — Murad Wilfried Hofmann, Journal of Islamic Studies

"Muslim Identities is a welcome addition to the list of introductory books on Islamic religion." — Christine D. Baker, H-Mideast-Medieval

"An excellent corrective to many other introductions.... Hughes's text has much to recommend it for introductory classes on Islam at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. And it is certain to lead to much productive conversation and debate among scholars of Islamic Studies about the future of the field itself." — Khurram Hussain, Religion

"A welcome addition to religious studies classes." — Nerina Rustomji, author of The Garden and the Fire: Heaven and Hell in Islamic Culture

"Hughes masterfully avoids the simplistic, monolithic, and normative Islamic identities advocated by various traditionalist, liberal, and Islamist Muslims as well as non-Muslims who seek to disparage most Muslims as enemies of the West. His book is neither an apology for nor a critique of Islam. It is an ideal introduction for those who prefer not to be told what Islam should be yet seek to understand the complex and differing ways Islam has been and is understood by Muslims." — Herbert Berg, University of North Carolina Wilmington

"Hughes's engaging, thorough descriptions of Muslim history, thought, and practice convey a deep appreciation of Muslim self-understanding, balanced with careful scrutiny of historical sources and scholarly methods. Sophisticated yet accessible, this book respects its readers' intelligence as it explores the startling diversity of Islam and the complex and varied motivations, contestations, and experiences that have shaped Muslim lives. This may be the best available introductory text on the topic in helping readers see how their own expectations and perspectives color their understanding of Islam and Muslims. Hughes treats Islam as worthy of a mature conversation about the dynamic nature of religion and its multifaceted role in forming histories and identities." — Paul R. Powers, Lewis and Clark College

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline and Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Religious Studies and the Academic Study of Islam
Part I. Origins
1. Setting the Stage: Pre-Islamic Arabia
2. The Making of the Last Prophet
3. The Quran: The Base Narrative
Part II. Identity Formations
4. Islam Beyond the Arabian Peninsula: A Historical Overview
5. Early Sectarianism and the Formation of Shi'ism
6. Legal Developments and the Rise of Sunni Islam
7. Sufism
Part III. Beliefs and Practices
8. Constituting Identities: Beliefs and Schools
9. The Performance of Muslim Identities
Part IV. Modern Variations
10. Encounters with Modernity
11. Constructing Muslim Women
12. Islam Post–September 11
Glossary
Index

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline and Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction.

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline and Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction.

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline and Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction.

About the Author

Aaron W. Hughes holds the Philip S. Bernstein Chair in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline and Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction.