Interpreting Islam


Edited by: Hastings Donnan

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  • Politics and Culture: A Theory, Culture & Society Series

    Politics and Culture analyses the complex relationships between civil society, identities and contemporary states. Individual books will draw on the major theoretical paradigms in politics, international relations, history and philosophy within which citizenship, rights and social justice can be understood. The series will focus attention on the implications of globalization, the information revolution and postmodernism for the study of politics and society. It will relate these advanced theoretical issues to conventional approaches to welfare, participation and democracy.

    SERIES EDITOR: Bryan S. Turner, University of Cambridge


    Jack Barbalet, University of Leicester

    Mike Featherstone, Nottingham Trent University

    Engin Isin, York University

    Stephen Kalberg, Boston University

    Andrew Linklater, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

    Carole Pateman, University of California, Los Angeles

    Tony Woodiwiss, City University, London

    Also in this series

    Nation Formation

    Towards a Theory of Abstract Community

    Paul James

    Virtual Politics

    Identity and Community in Cyberspace

    edited by David Holmes

    Gender and Nation

    Nira Yuval-Davis

    Feminism and Citizenship

    Rian Voet

    Culture and Citizenship

    edited by Nick Stevenson


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    List of Contributors

    Ilyas Ba-Yunus was born in Karachi, and undertook postgraduate study at the universities of Minnesota and Oklahoma State. He has written about Muslim demography in North America and has published Islamic Sociology: An Introduction (co-authored with Farid Ahmed, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985), Major Contributions: 100 Years of American Sociology (Norton, 1989) and Ideological Dimensions of Islam: Making Sense out of History (forthcoming). Dr Ba-Yunus is a professor of sociology at State University of New York at Cortland, and is presently conducting research on Muslims in North America.

    Jonathan Benthall is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London, and Chair of the Board, International NGO Training and Research Centre, Oxford. Until 2000 he was Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Editor of Anthropology Today. His publications include Disasters, Relief and the Media (I.B. Tauris, 1993) and some recent articles on organized charity in the Arab-Islamic world.

    Hastings Donnan is Professor of Social Anthropology and Head of the School of Anthropological Studies at Queen's University Belfast. He has carried out field research in the Himalayan foothills of northern Pakistan focusing initially on arranged marriages and subsequently on Muslim pilgrimage. He has also conducted research on Muslims in Ireland. He is the author of Marriage among Muslims (E.J. Brill, 1988), co-author of Borders: Frontiers of Identity, Nation and State (with T.M. Wilson, Berg, 1999), and co-editor of a number of books including, most recently, Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity (with A.S. Ahmed, Routledge, 1994), Family and Gender in Pakistan (with F. Selier, Hindustan Publishing Co., 1997), Culture and Policy in Northern Ireland (with G. McFarlane, Institute of Irish Studies, 1997) and Border Identities: Nation and State at International Frontiers (with T.M. Wilson, Cambridge University Press, 1998).

    Susan L. Douglass is Principal Researcher and Writer for the Council on Islamic

    Education, Fountain Valley, California. Her publications include a seven-part series of elementary teaching units on Muslim history (International Institute of Islamic Thought and Kendall/Hunt, 1994–6), Strategies and Structures for Presenting World History, with Islam and Muslim History as a Case Study (Amana Publications, 1994), and teaching resources such as Beyond a Thousand and One Nights: A Sampler of Literature from Muslim Civilization (Council on Islamic Education, 2000), Images of the Orient: Nineteenth-Century European Travelers to Muslim Lands (National Center for History in the Schools, 1998) and (co-authored with Karima D. Alavi) The Emergence of Renaissance: Cultural Interactions between Europeans and Muslims (Council on Islamic Education, 1999). Teaching About Religion in National and State Social Studies Standards was jointly published by the Council on Islamic Education and the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center in 2000.

    Ross E. Dunn is Professor of History at San Diego State University and Director of World History Projects for the National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA. His books include Resistance in the Desert: Moroccan Responses to French Imperialism, 1881–1912 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1977) and The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century (University of California Press, 1990).

    Between 1993 and 1996 he served as Coordinating Editor of the National Standards for World History. Following the public controversy over those standards, he co-authored with Gary B. Nash and Charlotte Crabtree, History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past (Vintage Books, 2000). He recently edited The New World History: A Teacher's Companion (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), a collection of essays on the problems of conceptualizing and teaching world history.

    Charles Lindholm is University Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. He did his original fieldwork with the Swat Pukhtun of northern Pakistan and has written a number of publications dealing with them, including his ethnographic work Generosity and Jealousy (Columbia University Press, 1982). He has also published a more general book entitled The Islamic Middle East: An Historical Anthropology (Blackwell, 1996). His other academic interests include the culture of the United States and psychological anthropology, with a special focus on idealization. His most recent book is Culture and Identity (McGraw-Hill, 2000).

    Beverley Milton-Edwards is a Reader in the School of Politics and Assistant Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict at Queen's University Belfast. She is the author of Islamic Politics in Palestine (I.B. Tauris, 1996), Contemporary Politics in the Middle East (Polity Press, 2000) and has recently co-authored books on Jordan: A Hashemite Legacy (with P. Hinchcliffe, Harwood Academic, 2001) and Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 (with P. Hinchcliffe, Routledge, 2001). She has also published a variety of articles on political Islam, democracy and policing in deeply divided societies.

    Xavier de Planhol is Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris—Sorbonne (where he holds the chaire de géographie de l'Afrique blanche et du Moyen-Orient) and a member of the Academia Europaea. He has carried out field research in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya and Algeria. Among his many books and other publications on Islam are The World of Islam (Cornell University Press, 1959), Les fondements géographiques de l'histoire de l'Islam (Flammarion, 1968), Les nations du Prophète: Manuel géographique de politique musulmane (Fayard, 1993), Minorités en Islam: Géographie politique et sociale (Flammarion, 1997) and L'Islam et la mer: La mosquée et le matelot (Perrin, 2000). He has also published widely on deserts, as well as the book (with Paul Claval, Cambridge University Press, 1994) An Historical Geography of France. His work has been translated into many different languages, including English, German and Spanish.

    Malise Ruthven is the author of Islam in the World (Penguin/Oxford University Press, 1984/2000), Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 1997/2000), The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America (Chatto/Morrow, 1990) and several other books. A former editor and scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic Service and World Service in London, he has worked in BBC newsrooms and has made or collaborated in several radio and TV documentaries. He has taught Islamic studies and comparative religion at universities in Scotland and the United States. His most recent academic appointments have been as Visiting Professor at the Colorado College, Colorado Springs and at the University of California, San Diego.

    Martin Stokes graduated from the Institute of Anthropology at Oxford University in 1989, taught ethnomusicology and anthropology at Queen's University of Belfast from 1989 to 1997, and is currently Associate Professor in Music at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Arabesk Debate: Music and Musicians in Modern Turkey (Clarendon, 1992) and the editor of various collections, including Ethnicity, Identity and Music: The Musical Construction of Place (Berg, 1994). He has done fieldwork in Turkey and, more recently, in Egypt.

    Bryan S. Turner has held professorial positions in England, Holland and Australia. He was Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Deakin University, Australia from 1993 to 1998 before joining the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge in 1998, where he is currently Professor of Sociology and head of the department. He is the founding editor of the journal Citizenship Studies and co-founder with John O'Neill of the Journal of Classical Sociology. Professor Turner has been closely associated with the debate about Orientalism since the publication of Weber and Islam (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974). His current research interests include human rights, cosmopolitanism and religion.


    When originally conceived, this book was to be co-edited by Akbar S. Ahmed, then a full-time academic and film-maker and a Fellow of Selwyn College Cambridge. The demands of Professor Ahmed's subsequent appointment in London as High Commissioner for Pakistan, however, regrettably prevented him from seeing the book through to completion. I nevertheless remain extremely grateful to him for our many long discussions concerning the book's content and intellectual direction. Justin Dyer did a superb job on the copy-editing, for which the contributors and I are most grateful.

    Hastings Donnan

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