Charles Hirschkind's unique study explores how a popular Islamic media form--the cassette sermon--has profoundly transformed the political geography of the Middle East over the last three decades. An essential aspect of what is now called the Islamic Revival, the cassette sermon has become omnipresent in most Middle Eastern cities, punctuating the daily routines of many men and women. Hirschkind shows how sermon tapes have provided one of the means by which Islamic ethical traditions have been recalibrated to a modern political and technological order--to its noise and forms of pleasure and boredom, but also to its political incitements and call for citizen participation. Contrary to the belief that Islamic cassette sermons are a tool of militant indoctrination, Hirschkind argues that sermon tapes serve as an instrument of ethical self-improvement and as a vehicle for honing the sensibilities and affects of pious living. Focusing on Cairo's popular neighborhoods, Hirschkind highlights the pivotal role these tapes now play in an expanding arena of Islamic argumentation and debate--what he calls an "Islamic counterpublic." This emerging arena connects Islamic traditions of ethical discipline to practices of deliberation about the common good, the duties of Muslims as national citizens, and the challenges faced by diverse Muslim communities around the globe. The Ethical Soundscape is a brilliant analysis linking modern media practices of moral self-fashioning to the creation of increasingly powerful religious publics.
Al-Ghazzali on Invocations and Supplications by Abu Hamid Muhammad al- Ghazali; Kojiro Nakamura (Translator)
Written by Abu Hamid Ghazali in the 11th century, "The Revival of the Religious Sciences" is one of the most authoritative texts in Islamic religious literature. Offering a deeper understanding of Islam and its practices, this record contains the only English translation of an essential section from this magnum opus. Admired for the author's analytical approach and detailed exploration of the psychological and spiritual effects of prayer, this compendium will not only interest academics, but also Muslims who wish to recite the prayers in the original Arabic.
Lisa Ross's ethereal photographs of Islamic holy sites were created over the course of a decade on journeys to China's Xinjiang region in Central Asia, historically a cultural crossroads but an area to which artists and researchers have generally been denied access since its annexation in 1949. These monumental images show shrines created during pilgrimages, many of which have been maintained continuously over several centuries; visitation to the tombs of saints is a central aspect of daily life in Uyghur Islam, and its pilgrims ask for intercession for physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. The shrines, adorned with small devotional offerings that mark a prayer or visit, are poignant representations of collective memory and a pacifistic faith, and endure despite vulnerability to natural forces of sand, heat, and powerful winds. Their simplicity and austerity as captured by Ross invoke ideas of spirituality, eternity, and transcendence. Three essays--by a historian of Central Asian Islam, a Uyghur folklorist, and the curator of an accompanying exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art--situate the photographic content in context. This volume emerges at a critical time, as modernization and new policies for development of China's far west bring about rapid, extreme, and irrevocable chan≥ the region is its largest source of untapped natural gas, oil, and minerals. Many of the sites in Ross's work are threatened by political and economic pressures--her images are valuable, therefore, not only for their intrinsic beauty, but as an important record of a rich and vibrant culture.
National Bestseller Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post * The Boston Globe * Minneapolis Star Tribune * NPR * Newsday * The Guardian * Financial Times * The Christian Science Monitor The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey across the Indian subcontinent--from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. Braiding together the lives of a diverse cast of characters who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love--and by hope, here Arundhati Roy reinvents what a novel can do and can be.
Psychoanalysis and the Challenge of Islam by Fethi Benslama; Robert Bononno (Translator)
In this title, the author demythifies both Islamic and western ideas of Islam by addressing the psychoanalytic root causes of the Muslim world's clash with modernity and subsequent turn to fundamentalism. It reveals an alternate history of Islam and looks at its future development.