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This introductory text on the history of Islam adopts a "civilizational" approach to the subject that "views Islam as a progressive unfolding in space and time of a certain set of foundational ideas that manifest themselves in all spheres of the lives of its followers--from their socio political actions to theological and philosophical thought, to artistic self-expression. " He presents 25 chapters broadly organized by chronology and theme. They address the historical development of the religion and the development of key sects, universal and particular beliefs and practices in the religion, key movements and schools of debate within the religion, institutions of knowledge transmission, the status of women, art and architecture, the Islamic encounter with European colonialism, and Islam as a political force, among other topics, from its beginnings to the present. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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