This timely and stimulating Handbook, edited by world-class experts in the field, provides a comprehensive guide to Islamic Studies today. It examines the main issues in the field and explores the key debates. It provides readers with an indispensable, balanced guide to the roots of Islam and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.

Islam as a Community of Discourse and a World-System1

Islam as a community of discourse and a world-system1

Islam is a major monotheistic faith, but ‘Islam’ also is used as a term identifying a way of life, a civilization, a culture and a historic community. This variety of definitions creates confusions when people discuss Islamic history and current events. Some of this confusion is simply the result of using the same term for different phenomena. The confusion may also reflect the need for a redefinition of the basic conceptualizations involved in the study of the historic community of Muslims and their faith. Analysis of the historical experience of the believers requires different methods from those used to debate the truth of revealed religions. However, even in ...

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