Islam: The Straight Path
The Iranian revolution, the Lebanese and Afghan civil wars, the assassination of Egypt's Anwar Sadat, the Gulf War--these crises have dominated the headlines and global politics, yet few of us know anything about Islam, the faith of the people and nations of the world's second largest religion. Islam and Muslims have often been viewed through a series of stereotypes--as fundamentalists, extremists, radicals--which distort our understanding of the faith of its one billion followers, who span the globe from Africa to Asia, from the United States to the Soviet Union. Now John L. Esposito offers a timely revised edition of Islam, his widely acclaimed guide to Islamic history, faith, culture, and politics. In Islam, Esposito provides a succinct, up-to-date survey of the Islamic experience, an introduction to the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its origins to its contemporary resurgence. He traces the emergence and development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics. He discusses the formation of Islamic belief and practice (law, theology, philosophy, and mysticism), chronicling the struggle of Muslims to define and adhere to their Islamic way of life. Equally important is the essential information Esposito provides on the contemporary world of Islam, from Muslim responses to the challenges of colonialism and modernization to the reassertion of Islam in politics and society. With years of teaching and traveling in the Islamic world, Esposito offers an inside understanding of Muslim faith and thought. Lucidly written and expansive in scope, this new edition of a volume highly respected in both the West and the Islamic world provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions.