- The Future of Islam
- John L. Esposito
- Oxford University Press (2010)
The title of John Esposito's latest work is slightly misleading. The Future of Islam is as much about the present and past of Islam as its future. But there is an obvious reason for that; we can only understand where we're going if we understand where we are and how we got there.
As Esposito explains in the introduction, his goal is "to understand the struggle for reform in Islam, to explore the religious, cultural, and political diversity of Muslims facing daunting challenges in Muslim countries and in the West, to clarify the debate and dynamics of Islamic reform, to examine the attempt to combat religious extremism and terrorism" – in that context – "to look into the future of Muslim-West relations."
His conclusion?: "The future of Islam and Muslims is inextricably linked to all of humanity."
What Esposito presents between that introduction and conclusion is one of the finest examples of the study of Lived Religion since Wilfred Cantwell Smith laid the foundations for that methodology.
[To read the rest of this essay, please click here.]