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10 thoughts on “Islam The Straight Path

  1. Will Waller Will Waller says:

    This book is an excellent primer on Islam on a multitude of dimensions historical religious modern cultural anthropological scientific I found this book to be the best guide to Islam and I especially enjoyed its final chapter which dealt with modern history up to mid 2009 It assimilates the many different streams of Islam into a readable work but one that is certainly well researched and well written This book was read for a course on Islam and I found it nearly as helpful as the classes attended Esposito doesn't give too many editorial comments about the history he is describing which I like Just the facts ma'am However he does see that the future of Islam lies in its ability or inability to adjust to the changing demands of pluralism and adherents continuous struggle in defining their relationship in the West as either Muslims in the West or Western MuslimsA great read that is neither dense nor superficial Perfect for an introduction and jumping off point for willing learners about Islam


  2. Dillon Tatum Dillon Tatum says:

    People always ask me what a great intro to Islam book is and this is it Esposito does a fantastic job and it is the best I have seen of its kind in its 3rd edition even I think It does have some flaws but what book doesn't


  3. Zack Zack says:

    This does not seem like a very good introduction to Islam I am not sure of the importance of covering obscure sects from centuries ago and all of that The book is very dry not much fun to read and seems like an awful choice for a college survey course as it seems uite apologetic and does a very poor job of dealing with the current social issues and such within Islam Nor does it go over any of the issues involving Islam and the outside world Overall I can't really recommend this


  4. Kristen Kristen says:

    If you want to begin researching and understanding Islam this is a great book to start with It's easy to understand and gives you the history of Islam as a religion ideology culture and political system I would encourage everyone to read this so they can understand what Islam is and what it isn't Its important to understand the richness and beauty that surrounds the tradition of Islam and not just modern perception of radical movements


  5. Sara Sara says:

    Had to read this for my history of the Middle East and Islam course very dry and not as well written as I would have hoped Leaves out a lot of important facts and includes many errors that are clearly cultural things and not Islam at all


  6. Ellie Ellie says:

    The writing is dry Informative I admit but very dry and reading it felt like a drag It was frustrating at times primarily for the following two reasons1 His insistence on considering Judaism and Christianity as a homogeneous unit of Judeo Christianity He conflates the two and acts as if Judaism has a similar status to Christianity in the western world He seems to believe it is protected in a similar way for example he says that Jewish holidays are given the same type of respect and accommodations as Christian ones personally I would love to know where This occurs throughout the book and makes him appear uite ignorant of Judaism especially when Jews while being a tiny portion of the community are the overwhelming majority of hate crime victims often committed by Muslims actually2 He allows for no real criticism of Islam even of Wahhabists and Sayyed utb who's bile antisemitism is rather renowned Even the negatives seem to be twisted or glossed over When the author mentions some issues such as women's rights he skirts them tries to make excuses or refuses to engage with the issues at hand He seems very keen to divert attention to comparative yet historic issues in western society As a side note to this near the end of the book in chapter six he complains that normal Muslims are often unfairly stereotyped due to the crimes committed by extremists and how people don't tie extremist Christianity to normal Christians or acts of violence by Jews such as in his example of a Jew killing some Palestinians in the West Bank but this does happen It happens freuently The Catholic paedophile priests have tarred normal Catholics and Jews Zionist or otherwise are often attacked for the crime of supporting Israel or not aggressively denouncing the Israeli government's policies This is not Islamophobia it happens to all groups Overall the book is biased and one sided and while it can be considered a reasonable overview its bias and inability to engage with genuine and pressing concerns many people have about Islam it renders this book poorly concealed propaganda


  7. Sara Sara says:

    Very dry It's not really relevant to understanding Islam unless you're studying where the extremist groups first originated or you just want to know about the historical movements of the religion I though John Esposito could do much better than that


  8. Andrew Doohan Andrew Doohan says:

    Given the enormous amounts of ignorance or misinformation that surrounds the subject of Islam in contemporary rhetoric and communal debate this book already a few years old in its fourth edition was a timely read for me The author a world renowned scholar in the field provides an accessible and balanced introduction to IslamThis book is no apology for the religion of Islam nor is it an attack on that religion It is thankfully a text that is well researched broad in scope and not afraid to point out the negatives in the history of religion or enumerate the areas that Islam the use of which term is problematic because it is too amorphous needs to consider and address going forward if it wishes to continue to be a positive presence in the contemporary worldI found this text illuminating chilling confronting in parts but overall very beneficial to my understanding of the straight path of Islam an understanding that I believe is necessary in the light of continuing negative fear mongering that passes for media coverage of any issue that touches on IslamI would strongly recommend this book to anyone who truly wishes to understand a little better the reality of Islam in our contemporary worldFrom the back coverNow in a new edition this exceptionally successful survey text introduces the faith belief and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary resurgence John L Esposito an internationally renowned expert on Islam traces the development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics Lucidly written and expansive in scope Islam The Straight Path Fourth Edition provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions It is ideally suited for use in courses on Islam comparative religions and Middle Eastern history and culture


  9. Hanna Hanna says:

    This book merits four and a half stars but I rounded down to four The book is excellent and filled with information and opposing theological strains within Islam However I felt that sometimes Esposito tried to defend Islam from Western critiue which I have no problem with in of itself but would later write about certain tenets in Islam that kind of disproved the points he was trying to make For instance the uestion of why did the Arabian Muslims seek to expand never felt adeuately answered Esposito himself notes that researchers have not been able to agree on that matter And yet I feel like he expended so much energy on why the Arab invaders were not a bad force etc while describing their erosion of the Sasanid Empire and spread into AsiaOther than that grievance this book was by far the best book offered in my theology class As noted previously different theological viewpoints were given in a clear and succinct way This made essay writing on Islam easy and frankly fun This book is the only book in my course literature that I do not want to sell I feel like this book will be relevant as long as Islamophobia ie overblown fear of Islamic terrorism and general European xenophobia exists


  10. Tyrone Tyrone says:

    Islam The Straight Path is a really poignant and engaging introduction to the vast topics surrounding Islam John L Esponsito presents the complex history of 13 odd centuries of faith innovation expansion trade commerce and sadly in recent times the spread of fanaticism This is a book I think everyone in the west should read so as to gain an insight into the culture and faith of Muslims and how to not allow media bias to prejudice our interactions with our Islamic brothers and sisters


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Islam The Straight Path In Islam Esposito provides a succinct up to date survey of the Islamic experience an introduction to the faith belief and practice of Islam from its origins to its contemporary resurgence He traces the emergence and development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics He discusses the formation of Islamic belief and practice law theology philosophy and mysticism chronicling the struggle of Muslims to define and adhere to their Islamic way of life Eually important is the essential information Esposito provides on the contemporary world of Islam from Muslim responses to the challenges of colonialism and modernization to the reassertion of Islam in politics and society This third edition has been updated throughout and is enhanced by new material that accurately reflects the true diversity of Muslim cultures