Lifeworlds of Islam: The Pragmatics of a Religion

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How do old ideas continue to appear relevant in a modern world? A sociological approach to Islam allow us to approach an answer to this question.

In Lifeworlds of Islam, Mohammad Bamyeh shows that Islam has typically operated not in the form of standard dogmas, but more often as a compass for practical individual orientations or "lifeworlds." Through a comprehensive sociological analysis of Islam, he maps out how Muslims have employed the faith to foster global networks, public philosophies, and engaged civic lives both historically and in the present. Bamyeh further argues that all three fields are poorly understood in recent literature, which tends to focus on one specific problem or another and does not take into account the variety of lifeworlds in which Islam operates. The book contends that the larger preoccupations of ordinary Muslims-how to imagine a global society, how to guide life in the manner of a total philosophy, and how to relate to the world of daily struggles in organized or semi-organized civic forums and social movements-are neither unique to the present period nor to religious life. They are rather shared universal quandaries.

A focused empirical lens on the career of a religion, Lifeworlds of Islam contributes to the larger literature and provides insight into the nature of global citizenship, the philosophical needs of individuals, and the ethical values that foster social participation.

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Oxford University Press Inc
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