Catalogue


Islamic reform and conservatism : Al-Azhar and the evolution of modern Sunni Islam /
Indira Falk Gesink.
imprint
London ; New York : Tauris Academic Studies ; New York : Distributed in the United States and Canada exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
description
311 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
1845119363 (Cloth), 9781845119362 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London ; New York : Tauris Academic Studies ; New York : Distributed in the United States and Canada exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
isbn
1845119363 (Cloth)
9781845119362 (Cloth)
catalogue key
7019391
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [279]-292) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-12-01:
Gesink (history, Baldwin-Wallace College) presents an extensively researched study of the reform debates centered on Al-Azhar University in 19th-century Cairo. She articulates four problematically constructed themes revolving around the need to revisit the arguments of the conservative religious scholars of the time without the lens of the orientalists; reinvestigate the commonly accepted discourse on the "cessation of ijtihad" and the environment surrounding it; closely examine the campaign to "revive" ijtihad; and analyze the progress or lack of reforms at Al-Azhar in the 19th century. Though Gesink focuses on obscure texts, the subject matter for which this text provides background is immediate. Many journalists and students of Islamic studies have had to go back to these particular debates to discern the nature of Islamic education in the 21st century. Gesink explains why there is an absence of "secular" learning and how studies once formative, such as philosophy, become suspect and subsequently deleted from the curriculum as leading to speculation and thus chaos. Not for general readers. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, professionals. A. B. McCloud DePaul University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Indira Gesink's deeply researched study on al-Azhar reform sheds new light on a major chapter in the history of modern Islam. Dispensing with conventional portrayals of entrenched conservatives resisting enlightened modernists, Gesink reveals a far more nuanced and complicated set of intellectual and political struggles over al-Azhar's organization, curriculum and administration. The revisionist account of Muhammad Abduh's character and career is particularly compelling. Gesink rescues the reputations of conservative sheikhs from the slanted perspective that Orientalists uncritically adopted. In addition, she vividly illustrates the overlapping influences on al-Azhar of the Muhammad Ali dynasty, British colonial authorities, eminent sheikhs and rowdy religious pupils. Al-Azhar's present influence in Egypt and the Muslim world owes much to this chapter in its history. Gesink's book most certainly deserves the attention of readers interested in modern Islamic institutions and thought along with specialists on Egypt."--David Commins, Professor of History, Dickinson College; author of The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia (I.B.Tauris 2006)
"Indira Gesink's deeply researched study on al-Azhar reform sheds new light on a major chapter in the history of modern Islam. Dispensing with conventional portrayals of entrenched conservatives resisting enlightened modernists, Gesink reveals a far more nuanced and complicated set of intellectual and political struggles over al-Azhar's organization, curriculum and administration. The revisionist account of Muhammad Abduh's character and career is particularly compelling. Gesink rescues the reputations of conservative sheikhs from the slanted perspective that Orientalists uncritically adopted. In addition, she vividly illustrates the overlapping influences on al-Azhar of the Muhammad Ali dynasty, British colonial authorities, eminent sheikhs and rowdy religious pupils. Al-Azhar's present influence in Egypt and the Muslim world owes much to this chapter in its history. Gesink's book most certainly deserves the attention of readers interested in modern Islamic institutions and thought along with specialists on Egypt."--David Commins, Professor of History, Dickinson College; author ofThe Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia(I.B.Tauris 2006)
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2010
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evaluation of 20th-century Sunni Islam, this book is indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Description for Bookstore
In this book, Indira Gesink argues that narratives of the reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad 'Abduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative 'ulama engaged many of the same issues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. The book draws on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evaluation of twentieth-century Sunni Islam.
Main Description
The famed reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo -- one of the most influential centers of religious study in Sunni Islam -- were enormously influential for twentieth-century Islamic thought. In this book Indira Gesink argues that narratives of these debates overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad 'ÄòAbduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative 'Äòulama engaged many of the same issues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evaluation of twentieth-century Sunni Islam, Islamic Reform and Conservatism is indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Main Description
The famed reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo -- one of the most influential centers of religious study in Sunni Islam -- were enormously influential for twentieth-century Islamic thought. In this book Indira Gesink argues that narratives of these debates overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad 'Abduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative 'ulama engaged many of the same issues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evaluation of twentieth-century Sunni Islam,Islamic Reform and Conservatismis indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Main Description
The famed reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo - one of the most influential centers of religious study in Sunni Islam - were enormously influential for twentieth-century Islamic thought. In this book Indira Gesink argues that narratives of these debates overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad ,Abduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative ,ulama engaged many of the sameissues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evolutionof twentieth-century Sunni Islam, Islamic Reform and Conservatism is indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Main Description
The famed reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo -- one of the most influential centers of religious study in Sunni Islam -- were enormously influential for twentieth-century Islamic thought. In this book Indira Gesink argues that narratives of these debates overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad 'Abduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative 'ulama engaged many of the same issues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evolutionof twentieth-century Sunni Islam, Islamic Reform and Conservatism is indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Main Description
The famed reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo -- one of the most influential centers of religious study in Sunni Islam -- were enormously influential for twentieth-century Islamic thought. In this book Indira Gesink argues that narratives of these debates overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad 'Abduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative 'ulama engaged many of the sameissues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evolutionof twentieth-century Sunni Islam, Islamic Reform and Conservatism is indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Main Description
The famed reform debates at al-Azhar Madrasa in nineteenth-century Cairo - one of the most influential centres of religious study in Sunni Islam - were enormously influential for twentieth-century Islamic thought. In this book Indira Gesink argues that narratives of these debates overemphasize the roles of famous modernists like Muhammad 'Abduh, obscuring important themes. By restoring conservative voices to the debate, she shows that conservative 'ulama engaged many of the same issues as reformers and led committees that generated and implemented reforms; ultimately, conservative leaders at al-Azhar provided crucial legitimacy for the reforms to become rooted in public life. Drawing on obscure, but important, archival sources to illustrate the important contributions of conservative scholars to the evaluation of twentiethcentury Sunni Islam, 'Islamic Reform and Conservatism' is indispensable for all those interested in the modern Middle East, religious history, secularism, modernism and religious reform.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Note on Transliterationp. viii
Introductionp. 1
Religion and the State: Al-Azhar During Muhammad 'Alis' Rulep. 9
Order and Disorder: The Evolving Critique of Madrasa Education (1834-1870)p. 37
Progress, Nationalism, and the Negative Construction of al-Azhar 'Ulama (1870-1882)p. 59
A Conservative Defense of Taqlidp. 89
Efficiency, Mission, and the Meaning of 'Ilm (1882-1899)p. 111
The Syrian Riwaq Cholera Riotp. 143
Muhammad 'Abduh and Ijtihadp. 165
Who Reformed al-Azhar?p. 197
Conclusionsp. 231
Notesp. 237
Selected Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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