Cover image for Islam and modernity : Muslim intellectuals respond
Islam and modernity : Muslim intellectuals respond
Cooper, John, 1947 August 24-
Publication Information:
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris ; New York : Distributed by St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xii, 228 pages ; 23 cm
Introduction : the culture of modernity in Islam and the Middle East / Nature, hyperbole, and the colonial state : some Muslim appropriations of European modernity in late nineteenth-century Urdu literature / Limits of the sacred : the epistemology of ʻAbd al-Karim Soroush / Islamic scholar and religious leader : Shaikh Muhammad Saʻid Ramadan al-Buti / Islamic history, Islamic identity and the reform of Islamic law : the thought of Husayn Ahmad Amin / Mahmud Muhammad Taha's second message of Islam and his modernist project / Mohamed Talbi's ideas on Islam and politics : a conception of Islam for the modern world / Can modern rationality shape a new religiosity? Mohamed Abed Jabri and the paradox of Islam and modernity / Islam, Europe, the West : meanings-at-stake and the will-to power / Divine attributes in the Qur'an : some poetic aspects
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BP190.5.S35 I75 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This text presents the ideas of a number of contemporary modernist and liberal Muslim thinkers, exposing an important intellectual current in Islamic thought. These figures work mainly outside established institutional, political and religious frameworks, whilst relying heavily on traditional sources. Responding to the challenges brought by colonialism and modernization, they propose new conceptions and interpretations of Islam consonant with the age. Although their specific concerns and emphases vary, their thought shares certain features; a reconsideration of the relation between religion and politics; an easy incorporation of modern Western ideas; a reinterpretaton of sacred sources which highlights their more universalist elements; and a conception of Islam as moving with historical change whilst remaining rooted in Qur'anic values. Disputing the widespread view of modern Islam as essentially political, the book shows a quite different face of the tradition.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This collection of essays focuses on 20th-century Muslim intellectuals who are developing an Islamic outlook informed by modern thought yet rooted in Islamic faith and its sources. Most of these thinkers have not yet attracted much attention in the West; included are 'Abd al-Karim Soroush (Iran), Muhammad al-Buti (Syria), Husayn A. Amin (Egypt), Mahmud M. Taha (the Sudan), Mohamed Talbi (Tunisia), Mohamed Abed Jabri (Morocco), Mohamed Arkoun (Algeria/France), and Nasr H. Abu Zaid (Egypt). Although they differ significantly in their positions, all share a deep devotion to the Islamic tradition, a conviction that Muslims must grapple seriously with the intellectual and moral challenges posed by modernity, and an insistence that the relationship between Islam and the state be reconceived. Among the more interesting are Soroush, Taha, Jabri, Arkoun and Abu Zaid, who have not only dared to think new thoughts but have chosen to make their views available to a wider public and to defend them with courage and clarity. Although from one part of the Muslim world (the Middle East), they are representative of new currents of thought in many parts of that world today. Recommended for all levels within the academy: undergraduate, graduate, and faculty. M. Swartz; Boston University