In the public mind, Islam is a religion of extremes: it is the world's fastest growing faith; more than three-quarters of the world's refugees are Islamic; it has produced government by authoritarian monarchies in Saudi Arabia and ultra-republicans in Iran. Whether we are reading about civil war in Algeria or Afghanistan, the struggle for the soul ...Read MoreIn the public mind, Islam is a religion of extremes: it is the world's fastest growing faith; more than three-quarters of the world's refugees are Islamic; it has produced government by authoritarian monarchies in Saudi Arabia and ultra-republicans in Iran. Whether we are reading about civil war in Algeria or Afghanistan, the struggle for the soul of Turkey, or political turmoil in Pakistan or Malaysia, the Islamic context permeates all these situations. Yet who really understands the central tenets of this faith, or why so many people around the world have turned to 'fundamentalism'? Karen Armstrong's elegant and concise book traces how Islam grew from the other religions of the book, Judaism and Christianity; introduces us to the character of Muhammed; and demonstrates that for much of its history, the religion has been a force for enlightenment that promoted liberties for women and allowed the arts and sciences to flourish. "Islam" shows how this progressive legacy is today often set aside as the faith struggles to come to terms with the economic and political weakness of most of its believers and with the forces of modernity itself.Read Less
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Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!
192 pages. Softcover. Very good condition. ISLAM. One of the greatest of the world religions through the 1500 years of its exiostence, Islam has also been by far the most misunderstood. Karen Armstrong's book cuts through the cliche to reveal a faith which has inspired as many scholars, mystics and poets as soldiers. Islam, she makes clear, has not only been one of the world's most important and inspiring religions but the basis for one of its most illustrious civilizations. Includes an Index. "A thoroughly good guide...as well as being an excellent antidote to prejudice."-Financial Times (Key Words: Karen Armstrong, Religion, Islam, Zoroastrians, Shariah Law, Sunni Muslims, Sufism, Quran, Muhammad ibn Abdallah, Jews, Jerusalem, Byzantine Empire, Egypt).
Karen Armstrong perhaps the most scholarly author of our time concerning the great world religions, once again provides an indepth understanding regarding the founding history and religion that is Islam. Any student or reader who wants to gain a greater appreciation of Islam should avail themselves of this interesting historical review of one of the worlds fastest growing religions.
Jun 11, 2009
This slim volume contains more succint information on this fascinating religion, than a multi-volume set.. Armstrong's careful and objective hand steers the reader towards not simply what it means to be a Muslim, but priovides the historical and geographical context. Carefully, and with with wit and grace,, she deflates stereotypes, innuendos, and rumors about the world's most popular and populous religion. A must for any personal library.
May 21, 2009
Islam A Short History
This book gave me informaiton about the Islamic religion that was helpful and interesting. I think that anybody who does not have a good understanding of the Islamic religion should read this book.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-07-24 Readers seeking a quick but thoughtful introduction to Islam will want to peruse Armstrong's latest offering. In her hallmark stylish and accessible prose, the author of A History of God takes readers from the sixth-century days of the Prophet Muhammad to the present. Armstrong writes about the revelations Muhammad received, and explains that the Qur'an earned its name (which means recitation) because most of Muhammad's followers were illiterate and learned his teachings not from reading them but hearing them proclaimed aloud. Throughout the book, Armstrong traces what she sees as Islam's emphasis on right living (à la Judaism) over right belief (à la Christianity). Armstrong is at her most passionate when discussing Islam in the modern world. She explains antagonisms between Iraqi Muslims and Syrian Muslims, and discusses the devastating consequences of modernization on the Islamic world. Unlike Europe, which modernized gradually over centuries, the Islamic world had modernity thrust upon it in an exploitative manner. The Islamic countries, Armstrong argues, have been "reduced to a dependent bloc by the European powers." Armstrong also rehearses some basics about Islamic fundamentalism in a section that will be familiar to anyone who has read her recent study, The Battle for God. A useful time line and a guide to the "Key Figures in the History of Islam" complete this strong, brisk survey of 1,500 years of Islamic history. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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