Jon Hoover, "Ibn Taymiyya" (Oneworld, 2020)


Ibn Taymiyya is one of the most prolific and influential Islamic thinkers to date, and was even the only pre-modern Muslim author cited in the 9/11 Report. His supporters and detractors alike have engaged his scholarship extensively for hundreds of years, and Hoover’s monograph, Ibn Taymiyya (2020), in English, as part of Oneworld’s “Makers of the Muslim World” series therefore offers an invaluable contribution to existing literature on Ibn Taymiyya.

In our interview, Professor Hoover and I discuss the reasons for Ibn Taymiyya’s popularity, including his time in prison and controversial views on marriage, interfaith relations, and mysticism. Hoover’s monograph goes beyond a simple introduction to Ibn Taymiyya’s life and works and instead explores the prolific thinker in great detail, in terms of his own scholarship as well as reception history. Unsurprisingly, Hoover’s previous scholarship on Ibn Taymiyya (including a monograph on theodicy, as well several articles that explore Ibn Taymiyya’s thought broadly) informs the current work by allowing the author to write from an already expert vantage point. The bibliography is extensive and complements Hoover’s extant bibliography of Taymiyyan studies scholarship, hosted on his personal website. The book is sure to appeal to a broad range of audiences, including journalists, political scientists, and religion scholars.

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