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New Books in Islamic Studies

Marshall Poe

154
Followers
666
Plays
New Books in Islamic Studies

New Books in Islamic Studies

Marshall Poe

154
Followers
666
Plays
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Interviews with Scholars of Islam about their New Books

Latest Episodes

Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

In her stunning and conceptually adventurous new book Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford University Press, 2020), Margrit Pernau examines the varied and hugely consequential expressions of and normative investments in emotions in modern South Asian Muslim thought. By considering a wide array of sources including male and female reformist literature, poetry, newspapers, journals, sermons, and much more, Pernau explores the question of how the career of Islam in colonial India saw a paradigmatic shift from emphasis on balance or ‘adl to fervor and ebullience (josh). The intensification rather than the retreat of emotion represents a major feature of South Muslim scholarly thought and culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pernau convincingly demonstrates. Through the specific case study of modern South Asian Islam, she also presents and argues for novel conceptualizations of modernity as a lived and analytical category, marked no...

69 min2 d ago
Comments
Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Noel Malcolm, "Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Sir Noel Malcolm’s captivating new book, Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750 (Oxford University Press, 2019), tells the story of Western European fascination with the Ottoman empire and Islam between the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the latter half of the 18th century. This beautifully argued, erudite monograph traces a textured encounter between two civilizational complexes and exposes the dynamic role that the Ottomans played in intra-European political and cultural struggles. Useful Enemies contends that ideas about the Ottomans were active ingredients in European thought, and were used to “shake things up, to provoke, to shame, to galvanise.” Discussions of Islam and the Ottoman empire were thus bound up with mainstream thinking in the West on a wide range of important topics - power, religion, society, and war. These Eastern enemies were not just there to be denounced. They were there to be made use of, in arguments whic...

63 min3 d ago
Comments
Noel Malcolm, "Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Tahseen Shams, "Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (Stanford UP, 2020)

Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Tahseen Shams (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) reconceptualizes the homeland-hostland dyad. Drawing from the experiences of diasporic South Asian Muslim community in America, namely Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians, Shams introduces an innovative conceptual notion of “elsewhere” which informs her new multicentered approach to the study of globalized immigrant identities. Using ethnographic study, social media analysis, and autoethnographic reflections, she provocatively highlights how for her varied participants, their identities as South Asian Muslim Americans were not only informed by their perception of sending and receiving countries, but also was defined by societies beyond these nation states, especially those that defined their sense of an ummatic connection, such as to countries in the Middle East. In such instances, affinities to elsewhere informed South Asian American Muslim’s political and social mobilizations, such as during American presidential elections or in their other social justice involvement. At the same time, other elsewhere events, such as an ISIS attack in a European country, further altered their experiences as Muslims in America. The conceptual paradigm of “elsewhere” in this study productively shifts homeland-hostland dynamics beyond a simple binary and further challenges us to rethink how homeland politics, global Muslim events, and hostland reception dynamics complicate diasporic identity formation in a globalized and transnational context. This book will be of interest to those who work on international migration, diaspora studies, South Asian Islam, and Islam in America. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author ofSacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018)and a co-author ofContemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be foundhereandhere. She may be reached atshobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

60 min1 w ago
Comments
Tahseen Shams, "Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (Stanford UP, 2020)

Wilson Chacko Jacob, "For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World" (Stanford UP, 2019)

Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World (Stanford University Press) tells his story, part biography and part global history, as his life and legacy afford a singular view on historical shifts of power and sovereignty, religion and politics. Wilson Chacko Jacob recasts the genealogy of modern sovereignty through the encounter between Islam and empire-states in the Indian Ocean world. Fadl's travels in worlds seen and unseen made for a life that was both unsettled and unsettling. And through his life at least two forms of sovereignty—God and empire—become apparent in intersecting global contexts of religion and modern state formation. While these changes are typically explained in terms of secularization of the state and the birth of rational modern man, the life and afterlives of Sayyid Fadl—which take us from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Indian Ocean worlds to twenty-first century cyberspace—offer a more open-ended global history of sovereignty and a more capacious conception of life. Wilson Chacko Jacobis an Associate Professor of History at Concordia University in Montréal, where he has been teaching since 2006. He is the author of the well-received monographWorking Out Egypt: Effendi Masculinity and Subject Formation in Colonial Modernity, 1870-1940 (Duke University Press, 2011). Kelvin Ng hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Saumyashree Ghosh co-hosted the episode. She is a PhD candidate in History at Princeton University. She works on South Asia and the Indian Ocean world and her research involves business and legal histories, histories of religious and political institutions in Islam and histories of empire and slave trade. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

96 min1 w ago
Comments
Wilson Chacko Jacob, "For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World" (Stanford UP, 2019)

Karen Taliaferro, "The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Religious freedom debates set blood boiling. Just consider notable Supreme Court cases of recent years such as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission or Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania. How can we reach any agreement between those who adhere strictly to the demands of divine law and the individual conscience and those for whom human-derived law is paramount? Is there any legal and philosophical framework that can mediate when tensions erupt between the human right of religious liberty and laws in the secular realm? In her 2019 book, The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths (Cambridge UP), Karen Taliaferro argues that natural law can act as just such a mediating tool. Natural law thinking can both help protect religious freedom and enable societies across the globe to maintain social peace and to function on the basis of fairness to all. Taliaferro shows that natural law is not merely a somewhat arcane legal philosophy promulgated by a subset of mostly conservative Catholic scholars and philosophers. She argues that natural law offers those in many faith traditions and those of no faith whatever a workable, intellectually rich way to examine fundamental questions of law and fairness without relegating religion to ever-diminishing permissible venues. One of the signal contributions of the book is that Taliaferro shows us how non-Christian thinkers such as the Muslim scholar Ibn Rushd (also known as Averroes), the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, and Sophocles in his play Antigone (and Taliaferro’s original and provocative reading of that work alone is well worth the price of the book) employed natural law reasoning even if they did not use the term as such. For those who need to learn how societies around the world (and Taliaferro draws fascinatingly on her own experiences in the Middle East at times in the book) can balance the rights of religious people and the demands of other citizens for a strict, often ruthless secularism this book is the place to start. Give a listen. Hope J. Leman is a grants researcher. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

82 min1 w ago
Comments
Karen Taliaferro, "The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)

In the early 20th-century Muslims, primarily with roots in Lebanon, began to settle in Canada’s interior plains. In 1938, the small community in Edmonton opened the first mosque in the country, which would come to play a key role in shaping Islam's development in the Canada. Earle H. Waugh, Professor Emeritus at University of Alberta, narrates the history of this community and the place of this institution in Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities(University of Alberta Press, 2018). The micro-history of Edmonton’s Muslim community opens up vistas on the broader Canadian history and the role of Muslims in forming national projects and identities. Waugh outlines shifts in Islamic educational programs and community leadership, as well as the political terrains Muslims needed to traverse. Overall, the book offers a readable and robust history that adds a unique story to the history of Canada. In our conversation we discuss the Muslim population in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the mosque’s original building and the funding efforts to build it, the role of women in the community, Islamic education, religious leadership, the new mosque building in 1982, the effects of local and global politics, the Palestinian question in Canada, and 9/11 and its aftermath on Canadian Muslims. We also discuss Waugh’s training in Religious and Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago in the 1960s and 70s with scholars like Fazlur Rahman and Mircea Eliade. Kristian Petersenis an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on hiswebsite, follow him on Twitter@BabaKristian, or email him atkpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

67 min2 w ago
Comments
Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)

Abla Hasan, "Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender"(Lexington Books, 2020)

Is it possible to interpret the Qur’an using the Qur’an alone? Is a feminist interpretation of controversial verses such as 4:34, the notorious “wife-beating” verse, possible? What evidence is there for the possibility that Maryam, the mother of Isa (Jesus) was a prophet, and why does that matter? How are Islamic feminist scholars in conversation with each other, as they both draw from and challenge each other in their efforts to find meaning in gender-related verses in the Qur’an? Abla Hasan’s bookDecoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender(Lexington Books, 2020) offers possible answers to these questions and more. Hasan is an Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches courses in Arabic language and culture. She received her PhD in Philosophy of Language from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research and teaching focus on Qur'anic Studies, Islamic feminism, women and gen...

64 min3 w ago
Comments
Abla Hasan, "Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender"(Lexington Books, 2020)

Nicholas H. A. Evans, "Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian" (Cornell UP, 2020)

A sustained and compelling critique of the doubt/belief binary in the anthropology of religion and Islam, Nicholas H. A. Evans’ Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian (Cornell University Press, 2020) presents a riveting ethnography of a community’s strivings to materially embody and establish the certainty of its religious identity. An organizational ethnography of the Ahmadi community in its founding city of Qadian in Panjab India, this book charts the multiple ways in which the Ahmadiyya cultivate their fidelity to the caliph that combine bureaucratic operations, polemical encounters with Muslims and non-Muslims, and the expression and dissemination of piety through technology like satellite television. In our conversation, we engage a range of themes including the Ahmadi-caliph relationship as the antidote to secular politics, “enchanting bureaucracy” and utopian counter-publics, “heroic polemicism,” the productive outcomes of ritual failures, and global outreach through technology as a mode of theological success. This lyrically written book brings together just the perfect dose and mixture of intellectual history, ethnographic brilliance, and theoretical nuance and sophistication. While centered on South Asia, its conceptual intervention in the anthropology of religion will and should spark conversations among scholars of Islam, religion, and anthropology more generally. It will also make a delightful text to teach in various undergraduate and graduate courses. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

47 minSEP 25
Comments
Nicholas H. A. Evans, "Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Rachel M. Gillum, "Muslims in a Post-9/11 America" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

Muslims in a Post-9/11 America (University of Michigan Press, 2018) examines how public fears about Muslims in the United States compare with the reality of American Muslims’ attitudes on a range of relevant issues. While most research on Muslim Americans focuses on Arab Muslims, a quarter of the Muslim American population, Rachel Gillum includes perspectives of Muslims from various ethnic and national communities—from African Americans to those of Pakistani, Iranian, or Eastern European descent. Using interviews and one of the largest nationwide surveys of Muslim Americans to date, Gillum examines more than three generations of Muslim American immigrants to assess how segments of the Muslim American community are integrating into the U.S. social fabric, and how they respond to post-9/11 policy changes. Gillum’s findings challenge perceptions of Muslims as a homogeneous, isolated, un-American, and potentially violent segment of the U.S. population. Despite these realities, negati...

36 minSEP 23
Comments
Rachel M. Gillum, "Muslims in a Post-9/11 America" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

E. Bazzano and M. Hermansen, "Varieties of American Sufism" (SUNY Press, 2020)

Sufism in America is now a developed sub-field of study that exists at the intersection of Islamic Studies, American religions, and popular spirituality. Varieties of American Sufism: Islam, Sufi Orders, and Authority in a Time of Transition (State University of New York Press 2020) an edited volume by Elliott Bazzano (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College) and Marcia Hermansen (Professor of Theology and Director of Islamic World Studies at Loyola University Chicago), captures these complex varieties of Sufism in America. The edited volume is organized around different case studies of Sufi communities in America, which are based on ethnographic studies completed by the contributors to the volume. Some of the Sufi communities discussed include the Inayati Order, the Golden Sufi Center, Mevlevi Order of America, Alami Tariqa, Ansari Qadiri Rifa‘i Tariqa, and the Tijani Order. Throughout the different chapters various themes emerge, some of which include questions of charismatic authority in an era of transition, as well as gender and racial dynamics amongst individual American Sufi communities. Through these dynamic discussions, the collective chapters de-center easy categories of Sufi communities in America, be they understood or framed as “hippie” or non-Islamic to Islamic ones by scholars and/or practitioners of Sufism. The volumes’ focus on lived and embodied realities of various Sufi communities and the amplification of voices of American Sufis themselves (such as through oral histories) is a fresh and insightful contribution to the growing field of Sufism in America. The book will be of interest to those who write and think about contemporary Sufism, American Islam, American religions and popular spirituality. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

54 minSEP 18
Comments
E. Bazzano and M. Hermansen, "Varieties of American Sufism" (SUNY Press, 2020)

Latest Episodes

Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

In her stunning and conceptually adventurous new book Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor (Oxford University Press, 2020), Margrit Pernau examines the varied and hugely consequential expressions of and normative investments in emotions in modern South Asian Muslim thought. By considering a wide array of sources including male and female reformist literature, poetry, newspapers, journals, sermons, and much more, Pernau explores the question of how the career of Islam in colonial India saw a paradigmatic shift from emphasis on balance or ‘adl to fervor and ebullience (josh). The intensification rather than the retreat of emotion represents a major feature of South Muslim scholarly thought and culture in late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pernau convincingly demonstrates. Through the specific case study of modern South Asian Islam, she also presents and argues for novel conceptualizations of modernity as a lived and analytical category, marked no...

69 min2 d ago
Comments
Margrit Pernau, "Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Noel Malcolm, "Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Sir Noel Malcolm’s captivating new book, Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750 (Oxford University Press, 2019), tells the story of Western European fascination with the Ottoman empire and Islam between the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the latter half of the 18th century. This beautifully argued, erudite monograph traces a textured encounter between two civilizational complexes and exposes the dynamic role that the Ottomans played in intra-European political and cultural struggles. Useful Enemies contends that ideas about the Ottomans were active ingredients in European thought, and were used to “shake things up, to provoke, to shame, to galvanise.” Discussions of Islam and the Ottoman empire were thus bound up with mainstream thinking in the West on a wide range of important topics - power, religion, society, and war. These Eastern enemies were not just there to be denounced. They were there to be made use of, in arguments whic...

63 min3 d ago
Comments
Noel Malcolm, "Useful Enemies: Islam and the Ottoman Empire in Western Political Thought, 1450-1750" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Tahseen Shams, "Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (Stanford UP, 2020)

Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Tahseen Shams (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) reconceptualizes the homeland-hostland dyad. Drawing from the experiences of diasporic South Asian Muslim community in America, namely Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians, Shams introduces an innovative conceptual notion of “elsewhere” which informs her new multicentered approach to the study of globalized immigrant identities. Using ethnographic study, social media analysis, and autoethnographic reflections, she provocatively highlights how for her varied participants, their identities as South Asian Muslim Americans were not only informed by their perception of sending and receiving countries, but also was defined by societies beyond these nation states, especially those that defined their sense of an ummatic connection, such as to countries in the Middle East. In such instances, affinities to elsewhere informed South Asian American Muslim’s political and social mobilizations, such as during American presidential elections or in their other social justice involvement. At the same time, other elsewhere events, such as an ISIS attack in a European country, further altered their experiences as Muslims in America. The conceptual paradigm of “elsewhere” in this study productively shifts homeland-hostland dynamics beyond a simple binary and further challenges us to rethink how homeland politics, global Muslim events, and hostland reception dynamics complicate diasporic identity formation in a globalized and transnational context. This book will be of interest to those who work on international migration, diaspora studies, South Asian Islam, and Islam in America. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author ofSacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018)and a co-author ofContemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be foundhereandhere. She may be reached atshobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

60 min1 w ago
Comments
Tahseen Shams, "Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World" (Stanford UP, 2020)

Wilson Chacko Jacob, "For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World" (Stanford UP, 2019)

Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World (Stanford University Press) tells his story, part biography and part global history, as his life and legacy afford a singular view on historical shifts of power and sovereignty, religion and politics. Wilson Chacko Jacob recasts the genealogy of modern sovereignty through the encounter between Islam and empire-states in the Indian Ocean world. Fadl's travels in worlds seen and unseen made for a life that was both unsettled and unsettling. And through his life at least two forms of sovereignty—God and empire—become apparent in intersecting global contexts of religion and modern state formation. While these changes are typically explained in terms of secularization of the state and the birth of rational modern man, the life and afterlives of Sayyid Fadl—which take us from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Indian Ocean worlds to twenty-first century cyberspace—offer a more open-ended global history of sovereignty and a more capacious conception of life. Wilson Chacko Jacobis an Associate Professor of History at Concordia University in Montréal, where he has been teaching since 2006. He is the author of the well-received monographWorking Out Egypt: Effendi Masculinity and Subject Formation in Colonial Modernity, 1870-1940 (Duke University Press, 2011). Kelvin Ng hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. student at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Saumyashree Ghosh co-hosted the episode. She is a PhD candidate in History at Princeton University. She works on South Asia and the Indian Ocean world and her research involves business and legal histories, histories of religious and political institutions in Islam and histories of empire and slave trade. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

96 min1 w ago
Comments
Wilson Chacko Jacob, "For God or Empire: Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World" (Stanford UP, 2019)

Karen Taliaferro, "The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Religious freedom debates set blood boiling. Just consider notable Supreme Court cases of recent years such as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission or Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania. How can we reach any agreement between those who adhere strictly to the demands of divine law and the individual conscience and those for whom human-derived law is paramount? Is there any legal and philosophical framework that can mediate when tensions erupt between the human right of religious liberty and laws in the secular realm? In her 2019 book, The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths (Cambridge UP), Karen Taliaferro argues that natural law can act as just such a mediating tool. Natural law thinking can both help protect religious freedom and enable societies across the globe to maintain social peace and to function on the basis of fairness to all. Taliaferro shows that natural law is not merely a somewhat arcane legal philosophy promulgated by a subset of mostly conservative Catholic scholars and philosophers. She argues that natural law offers those in many faith traditions and those of no faith whatever a workable, intellectually rich way to examine fundamental questions of law and fairness without relegating religion to ever-diminishing permissible venues. One of the signal contributions of the book is that Taliaferro shows us how non-Christian thinkers such as the Muslim scholar Ibn Rushd (also known as Averroes), the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, and Sophocles in his play Antigone (and Taliaferro’s original and provocative reading of that work alone is well worth the price of the book) employed natural law reasoning even if they did not use the term as such. For those who need to learn how societies around the world (and Taliaferro draws fascinatingly on her own experiences in the Middle East at times in the book) can balance the rights of religious people and the demands of other citizens for a strict, often ruthless secularism this book is the place to start. Give a listen. Hope J. Leman is a grants researcher. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

82 min1 w ago
Comments
Karen Taliaferro, "The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)

In the early 20th-century Muslims, primarily with roots in Lebanon, began to settle in Canada’s interior plains. In 1938, the small community in Edmonton opened the first mosque in the country, which would come to play a key role in shaping Islam's development in the Canada. Earle H. Waugh, Professor Emeritus at University of Alberta, narrates the history of this community and the place of this institution in Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities(University of Alberta Press, 2018). The micro-history of Edmonton’s Muslim community opens up vistas on the broader Canadian history and the role of Muslims in forming national projects and identities. Waugh outlines shifts in Islamic educational programs and community leadership, as well as the political terrains Muslims needed to traverse. Overall, the book offers a readable and robust history that adds a unique story to the history of Canada. In our conversation we discuss the Muslim population in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the mosque’s original building and the funding efforts to build it, the role of women in the community, Islamic education, religious leadership, the new mosque building in 1982, the effects of local and global politics, the Palestinian question in Canada, and 9/11 and its aftermath on Canadian Muslims. We also discuss Waugh’s training in Religious and Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago in the 1960s and 70s with scholars like Fazlur Rahman and Mircea Eliade. Kristian Petersenis an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on hiswebsite, follow him on Twitter@BabaKristian, or email him atkpeterse@odu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

67 min2 w ago
Comments
Earle H. Waugh, “Al Rashid Mosque: Building Canadian Muslim Communities” (U Alberta Press, 2018)

Abla Hasan, "Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender"(Lexington Books, 2020)

Is it possible to interpret the Qur’an using the Qur’an alone? Is a feminist interpretation of controversial verses such as 4:34, the notorious “wife-beating” verse, possible? What evidence is there for the possibility that Maryam, the mother of Isa (Jesus) was a prophet, and why does that matter? How are Islamic feminist scholars in conversation with each other, as they both draw from and challenge each other in their efforts to find meaning in gender-related verses in the Qur’an? Abla Hasan’s bookDecoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender(Lexington Books, 2020) offers possible answers to these questions and more. Hasan is an Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches courses in Arabic language and culture. She received her PhD in Philosophy of Language from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research and teaching focus on Qur'anic Studies, Islamic feminism, women and gen...

64 min3 w ago
Comments
Abla Hasan, "Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur’an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender"(Lexington Books, 2020)

Nicholas H. A. Evans, "Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian" (Cornell UP, 2020)

A sustained and compelling critique of the doubt/belief binary in the anthropology of religion and Islam, Nicholas H. A. Evans’ Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian (Cornell University Press, 2020) presents a riveting ethnography of a community’s strivings to materially embody and establish the certainty of its religious identity. An organizational ethnography of the Ahmadi community in its founding city of Qadian in Panjab India, this book charts the multiple ways in which the Ahmadiyya cultivate their fidelity to the caliph that combine bureaucratic operations, polemical encounters with Muslims and non-Muslims, and the expression and dissemination of piety through technology like satellite television. In our conversation, we engage a range of themes including the Ahmadi-caliph relationship as the antidote to secular politics, “enchanting bureaucracy” and utopian counter-publics, “heroic polemicism,” the productive outcomes of ritual failures, and global outreach through technology as a mode of theological success. This lyrically written book brings together just the perfect dose and mixture of intellectual history, ethnographic brilliance, and theoretical nuance and sophistication. While centered on South Asia, its conceptual intervention in the anthropology of religion will and should spark conversations among scholars of Islam, religion, and anthropology more generally. It will also make a delightful text to teach in various undergraduate and graduate courses. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

47 minSEP 25
Comments
Nicholas H. A. Evans, "Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Rachel M. Gillum, "Muslims in a Post-9/11 America" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

Muslims in a Post-9/11 America (University of Michigan Press, 2018) examines how public fears about Muslims in the United States compare with the reality of American Muslims’ attitudes on a range of relevant issues. While most research on Muslim Americans focuses on Arab Muslims, a quarter of the Muslim American population, Rachel Gillum includes perspectives of Muslims from various ethnic and national communities—from African Americans to those of Pakistani, Iranian, or Eastern European descent. Using interviews and one of the largest nationwide surveys of Muslim Americans to date, Gillum examines more than three generations of Muslim American immigrants to assess how segments of the Muslim American community are integrating into the U.S. social fabric, and how they respond to post-9/11 policy changes. Gillum’s findings challenge perceptions of Muslims as a homogeneous, isolated, un-American, and potentially violent segment of the U.S. population. Despite these realities, negati...

36 minSEP 23
Comments
Rachel M. Gillum, "Muslims in a Post-9/11 America" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

E. Bazzano and M. Hermansen, "Varieties of American Sufism" (SUNY Press, 2020)

Sufism in America is now a developed sub-field of study that exists at the intersection of Islamic Studies, American religions, and popular spirituality. Varieties of American Sufism: Islam, Sufi Orders, and Authority in a Time of Transition (State University of New York Press 2020) an edited volume by Elliott Bazzano (Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College) and Marcia Hermansen (Professor of Theology and Director of Islamic World Studies at Loyola University Chicago), captures these complex varieties of Sufism in America. The edited volume is organized around different case studies of Sufi communities in America, which are based on ethnographic studies completed by the contributors to the volume. Some of the Sufi communities discussed include the Inayati Order, the Golden Sufi Center, Mevlevi Order of America, Alami Tariqa, Ansari Qadiri Rifa‘i Tariqa, and the Tijani Order. Throughout the different chapters various themes emerge, some of which include questions of charismatic authority in an era of transition, as well as gender and racial dynamics amongst individual American Sufi communities. Through these dynamic discussions, the collective chapters de-center easy categories of Sufi communities in America, be they understood or framed as “hippie” or non-Islamic to Islamic ones by scholars and/or practitioners of Sufism. The volumes’ focus on lived and embodied realities of various Sufi communities and the amplification of voices of American Sufis themselves (such as through oral histories) is a fresh and insightful contribution to the growing field of Sufism in America. The book will be of interest to those who write and think about contemporary Sufism, American Islam, American religions and popular spirituality. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. Her research areas are on contemporary Sufism in North America and South Asia. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism (Bloombsury Press, 2018) and a co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2017). More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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E. Bazzano and M. Hermansen, "Varieties of American Sufism" (SUNY Press, 2020)
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