New Books Network

Laury Silvers, “A Soaring Minaret: Abu Bakr al-Wasiti and the Rise of Baghdadi Sufism” (SUNY Press, 2010)
A broad portrait of early Islamic mysticism is fairly well-know. However, there are only a few key figures that have been explored in great detail and their activities shape how we understand this early history of Sufism. Laury Silvers, Professor of Religion at the University of Toronto, makes a significant... Read More
Abdulkader Tayob, “Religion in Modern Islamic Discourse” (Columbia University Press, 2010)
Many people believe that the current Islamic resurgence is not necessarily a “return of religion,” but rather a continuation of tradition. According to this line of thought, therefore, Islam is essentially resistant to modernity and incompatible with contemporary secular societies. But is this really the case? Abdulkader Tayob, professor of... Read More
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
Despite the fact that many American Muslim families have lived in the United States for generations they are often thought of as foreigners. I have witnessed on several occasions someone asking an African American Muslim when they converted to Islam or what drew them to the religion. Or asking Muslims... Read More
Carool Kersten, “Cosmopolitans and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study of Islam” (Columbia University Press, 2011)
Often when we read about new Muslim intellectuals we are offered a presentation of their politicized Islamic teachings and radical interpretations of theology, or Western readings that nominally reflect the Islamic tradition. We are rarely introduced to critical Muslim thinkers who neither abandon their Islamic civilizational heritage nor adopt, wholesale,... Read More
Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin, “This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” (Wiley, 2011)
In their new book, This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), the husband and wife team of Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin recount their experiences working as reporters in Jerusalem during the eventful last decade. Myre, the editor of NPR’s “Morning Edition,”... Read More
Giancarlo Casale, “The Ottoman Age of Exploration” (Oxford UP, 2010)
You’ve probably heard of the “Age of Exploration.” You know, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Columbus, etc., etc. But actually that was the European Age of Exploration (and really it wasn’t even that, because the people who lived in what we now call “Europe” didn’t think of themselves as... Read More
Lesley Hazleton, “After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split” (Doubleday, 2009)
Sometimes a shallow explanation, the kind you read in newspapers and hear on television, is enough. “The home team was beaten at the buzzer” is probably all you need to know. Sometimes, however, it’s not. The intermittent conflict between the Shias and Sunnis in Iraq (and elsewhere) provides a good... Read More