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Conference of the Books : The Search for Beauty in Islam
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Author: Khaled Abou El Fadl
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield, University Press of America (July 2001)
Pages: 419 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Based on actual cases, these original essays present an honest and critical evaluation of the problems and challenges that confront Muslims in the Contemporary world. Using the Muslim experience in the United States as a lens, the author examines what he identifies as a pervasive alienation suffered by Muslims over their place in history, source of identity, and moral foundations. The author imagines himself sitting in a conference of Islamic books - the Conference convening to examine the contemporary Muslim condition. Various influential intellectual trends are represented in this Conference, but the author is not a passive observer, he is an active participant who reacts to the Conference with introspection and critical moral insight. The author positions himself on a bridge between the intellectual heritage of Islam and the oppressive Muslim present, arguing that the salvation of one is intricately linked to the other. This book attempts to reclaim what the author maintains is a core moral value in Islam - the value of beauty.
In this unusual volume, Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic law at the UCLA law school, describes the various daily problems experienced by Muslims living in the United States and his response to them. The philosophy behind each response is drawn from the "conference of the books" of the title; the vast body of Islamic theological texts that provide the author with support and answers to the tricky questions of the modern world. The text is made up of a dialogue that is mainly internal and intensely religious, with frequent reference to the author's personal experience as a Muslim. It will appeal to other Muslims and scholars of Islam. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)