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Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism
At Home and in the World


  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107645875

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About the Authors
  • This book presents a critical study of citizenship, state and globalization in societies that have been historically influenced by Islamic traditions and institutions. Interrogating the work of contemporary theorists of Islamic modernity such as Mohammed Arkoun, Abdul an-Na'im, Fatima Mernissi, Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood and Aziz Al-Azmeh, this book explores the debate on Islam, democracy and modernity, contextualized within contemporary Muslim lifeworlds. These include contemporary Turkey (following the 9/11 attacks and the onset of war in Afghanistan), multicultural France (2009–10 French burqa debate), Egypt (the 2011 Tahrir Square mass mobilizations), and India. Ali Mirsepassi and Tadd Graham Fernée critique particular counterproductive ideological conceptualizations, voicing an emerging global ethic of reconciliation. Rejecting the polarized conceptual ideals of the universal or the authentic, the authors critically reassess notions of the secular, the cosmopolitan and democracy. Raising questions that cut across the disciplines of history, anthropology, sociology and law, this study articulates a democratic politics of everyday life in modern Islamic societies.

    • A comparative study of theoretical texts on Islam and modernity
    • Offers new perspectives on modern Islam and everyday life
    • Presents a broad and theoretically sophisticated review of the most important scholarly works on Islam in the contemporary world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book's approach to Islamic religious tradition and its meaning in this world is materialist and sociological, articulating its experience within a broader cosmopolitan space of modern conditions.' A. R. Abootalebi, Choice

    ' … interesting and refreshing arguments … [The book] leaves the readers with some unanswered questions, but these shortcomings do not diminish the great value of this book, which on the whole is a welcome addition to the literature on the subject and will be very useful for specialists of Islam, the Middle East, and global policymakers alike.' Ramin Jahanbegloo, Bustan: The Middle East Book Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107645875
    • length: 234 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: citizenship, state, and globalization
    1. Ways of being in the world: religion and secularism
    2. Islams and modernities: Al-Azmeh's secular critique
    3. Talal Asad's romance with Islamism
    4. Arkoun's The Unthought in Islamic Thought
    5. An-Na'im's Islamic reformation: the reconciliation of equality of rights and the Shari'a
    6. Fatima Mernissi: 'locally' rooted cosmopolitanism

  • Authors

    Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
    Ali Mirsepassi is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Sociology at the Gallatin School, New York University. He is the author of Political Islam, Iran, and the Enlightenment: Philosophies of Hope and Despair (Cambridge, 2011).

    Tadd Graham Fernée
    Tadd Graham Fernée is an independent scholar and was a 2010 research fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Institute of Advanced Studies, New Delhi, India.

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