Contemporary Islam

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 207–210 | Cite as

Review of Tugrul Keskin, editor, The Sociology of Islam. Secularism, Economy and Politics

Reading: Ithaca Press, 2011, xxiv + 504. ISBN 13:978-0-86372-371-1
  • Bryan TurnerEmail author

It is difficult to imagine that some 40 years ago there was no such sub-discipline as the ‘sociology of Islam’. While the anthropology of Islam has enjoyed a respectable history, the sociological study of Muslim societies was originally undertaken by scholars who were not ‘professional’ sociologists. One thinks here of the influential work of William Montgomery Watt on the social structure of early Islamic societies. In addition, the dominant paradigm of historical research in the humanities was broadly Orientalist. This neglect of Islam has changed radically for at least three reasons. The first is the rise of security studies and the resulting debates about ‘radical Islam’ and ‘political Islam’. These issues have however been largely confined to political science. The second and related reason is the world-wide revival of Islam through missions, education, pilgrimage and the urbanization of Muslim communities. These diverse movements have, perhaps been unhelpfully and misleadingly,...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SociologyCUNY Graduate CenterNew YorkUSA

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