New Books Network

Omid Safi, “Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition” (Yale UP, 2018)
It’s often touted that Rumi is one of the best-selling poets in the United States. That may be the case but popular renderings of the writings of this 13th-century Muslim have largely detached him from the Islamic tradition, and specifically Sufi mysticism. In Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical... Read More
Patrick Eisenlohr, “Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World” (U California Press, 2018)
Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World (University of California Press, 2018) by Patrick Eisenlohr is an exciting ethnographic study of Mauritian Muslims’ soundscapes. Through the exploration of na‘t, or devotional poetic recitations that honor the prophet Muhammad, Eisenlohr captures the sensory dimension of Islam,... Read More
James R. Rush, “Hamka’s Great Story: A Master Writer’s Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia” (U Wisconsin Press, 2016)
From Indonesia’s declaration of independence in 1945 up until today, the relationship between Indonesian nationalism, Islam, and modernity has been a key subject of debate. One of the central figures in this debate was the great writer, journalist, public intellectual – and pious Muslim from Minangkabau, West Sumatra, Haji Abdul... Read More
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