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Modernist Islam, 1840-1940: A Sourcebook

Product Description
Modernist Islam was a major intellectual current in the Muslim world during the 19th and 20th centuries. Proponents of this movement typically believed that it was not only possible but imperative to show how “modern” values and institutions could be reconciled with authentically Islamic ideals. This sourcebook brings together a broad range of writings on modernist Islam from across the Muslim world. It makes available for the first time in English the writings of many of the activists and intellectuals who made up the early modernist Islamic movement. Charles Kurzman and a team of section editors, each specializing in a different region of the Islamic world, have assembled, translated, and annotated the work of the most important of these figures. With the publication of this volume, an English-speaking audience will have wider access to the literature of modernist Islam than did the makers of the movement themselves.

Modernist Islam, 1840-1940: A Sourcebook


  1. I don’t imagine that anybody but students of the Modern Middle East or the Islamic World would find this useful, but for specialists in the field, this is an exceptionally valuable text. There are several points to commend this particular compilation. First, the introductory essay is very good. Second, the range of readings is geographically and topically broad. And third, one can search for essays both by region and by topic. It is an easy source to use for classroom study.

    For those who don’t have a significant background in the field, this work is likely to be unsatisfying, consisting largely of readings from 19th and early 20th Century Muslim intellectuals. For those with more than a passing interest, this collection certainly gives a sense of major issues and perspectives and would make a good companion to secondary source readings.
    Rating: 5 / 5


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