Hüseyin Yılmaz, “Caliphate Redefined: The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought” (Princeton UP, 2018)
In Islamic intellectual history, it is generally assumed that the Ottomans did not contribute much to Islamic thought. With his new book, Caliphate Redefined: The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought (Princeton University Press, 2018), Hüseyin Yılmaz uses the Ottoman notion of the caliphate to push back against that assumption: he demonstrates how a new understanding... Read More
Alireza Doostdar, “The Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny” (Princeton UP, 2018)
Winner of the Middle East Studies Association’s 2018 Albert Hourani Book Award, Alireza Doostdar’s The Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny (Princeton University Press, 2018) is a mesmerizing study of discourses and practices surrounding the Occult sciences or ‘metaphysicals’ in contemporary Iran. Thoroughly disrupting the common association... Read More
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, “The Politics of Common Sense: State, Society and Culture in Pakistan” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar’s The Politics of Common Sense: State, Society and Culture in Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is an incisive study of continuity as well as change in Pakistan that has moved the country towards religious conservatism and increased authoritarianism. Akhtar, a political scientist and self-confessed left-wing activist, documents... Read More
Sumantra Bose, “Secular States, Religious Politics: India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
Sumantra Bose‘s new book Secular States, Religious Politics: India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is a fascinating comparison of the rise of religious parties in the non-Western world’s two major attempts to establish a post-colonial secular state. The secular experiments in Turkey and India were considered... Read More
J.R. Osborn, “Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design” (Harvard UP, 2017)
Arabic script is astounding!  Not only because it represents one of the most commonly spoken languages today –that is, the Arabic language– but because it has represented dozens of other languages over the course of human history from the Middle East to Asia, to Europe, and to the tip of... Read More
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