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Liberal Islam Books?


Neon Genesis
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I've read a lot of books about liberal Christianity and I've learned a lot about the bible since my deconversion from fundaemntalist Christianity, but I still know very little about Islam although I do have a copy of the Koran I keep meaning to read. The most I've read about Islam is I've read Karen Armstrong's books, I've read Reza Aslan's No God But God, and I've been reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel, but I'm looking for more info about Islam. The problem is trying to sort out the reliable info from propaganda since Islam is a religion I'm unfamiliar with and I don't know who the reliable sources are. Ayaan Hirsi Ali claims her more negative views about Islam are correct but then Reza Aslan also claims his more positive version of Islam is the correct one and I don't know where to turn. Does anyone know of any good reliable books on Islam? I'm also interested in reading books by any liberal Muslims out there to get their perspective.

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Neon Genesis,

 

Like all things, you could do worse than type "Liberal Muslims" in Google Seach and take a look at what comes up.

 

There is a website........

 

The Islam factor

 

.........that is very welcoming - a forum for discussion. Look out for the posts of "Jim", who seems an open guy. But genearlly speaking its good to just read various posts by a host of Muslims just seeking to live their lives with God.

 

(But beware of the posts by "jodoshinshu" who seems a troublemaker!...... :D )

 

As Soma has said, the sufi movement is worth looking at, more the mystical tradition of Islam.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I'm also interested in reading books by any liberal Muslims out there to get their perspective.

 

I can recommend a couple of good books about Islam generally and progressive Islam specifically.

 

A good overview and history of Islam, which I recommend be read first, is "An Introduction to Islam" by Frederick Denny.

 

For progressive Islam, I highly recommend "Progressive Muslims" edited by Omid Safi. It is a compilation of essays by 'progressive' Muslims dealing with issues of justice, gender and pluralism. It is best read with some general background knowledge of Islam. However, the topics and discussion would appropriate for Christians as well.

 

George

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I can recommend a couple of good books about Islam generally and progressive Islam specifically.

 

A good overview and history of Islam, which I recommend be read first, is "An Introduction to Islam" by Frederick Denny.

 

For progressive Islam, I highly recommend "Progressive Muslims" edited by Omid Safi. It is a compilation of essays by 'progressive' Muslims dealing with issues of justice, gender and pluralism. It is best read with some general background knowledge of Islam. However, the topics and discussion would appropriate for Christians as well.

 

George

Thank you, George - I am going to see if our local library has Mr. Denny's book. Some time ago I purchased an excellent book entitled "Opening the Qur'an" by Walter H. Wagner. Here is a short quote from the book's introduction: "This book by a non-Muslim offers other non-Muslims an entry into the Qur'an and ways in which readers may start to understand, assess, and perhaps adapt Quranic aspects to their own situations."

 

Hal

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Hal,

 

Thanks for the suggestion, I will check it out.

 

Unless you have a very good public library, I would not expect the Denny book to be available except by purchase. But, if interested, it would be a worthwhile purchase. I think, like reading the Bible, it is important to know the context of the writing.

 

With all the Islamophobia that is the rage these days, good objective information about Islam would be beneficial to most Americans. Like Christianity, Islam is not monolithic, there are all sizes and flavors. I am not sure how many realize this.

 

George

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  • 1 month later...

Hal,

 

Thanks for the suggestion, I will check it out.

 

Unless you have a very good public library, I would not expect the Denny book to be available except by purchase. But, if interested, it would be a worthwhile purchase. I think, like reading the Bible, it is important to know the context of the writing.

 

With all the Islamophobia that is the rage these days, good objective information about Islam would be beneficial to most Americans. Like Christianity, Islam is not monolithic, there are all sizes and flavors. I am not sure how many realize this.

 

George

I finally got around to check on the Denny book "An Introduction to Islam". I checked earlier at our library and, you were right, they do not have it available. Today, I checked with both Amazon and Barnes and Noble to see if they were selling it as an E-book and the answer is "No!" Both stores are selling it as a paperback and the price is $66.00. Amazon says they have it as a used book for $43.00. It evidently is a textbook so that must be the reason for the exorbitant price.

 

I do not think I want to invest that much money when I have Mr. Wagner's excellent book already in my bookcase.

 

Hal

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I finally got around to check on the Denny book "An Introduction to Islam". I checked earlier at our library and, you were right, they do not have it available. Today, I checked with both Amazon and Barnes and Noble to see if they were selling it as an E-book and the answer is "No!" Both stores are selling it as a paperback and the price is $66.00. Amazon says they have it as a used book for $43.00. It evidently is a textbook so that must be the reason for the exorbitant price.

 

I do not think I want to invest that much money when I have Mr. Wagner's excellent book already in my bookcase.

 

Hal

 

Yes, that is a rather steep price. I got mine a few years ago and have forgotten what I paid, but I don't recall it being quite that much.

 

I noticed that "Progressive Muslims" is a more affordable at $19 (but no Kindle edition). As I mentioned previously, I think it would be beneficial to read a good intro or overview of Islam before reading this in order to put things into context.

 

One quote from PM that has stuck with me and I think applies equally well to Christianity is "tradition gets a vote, but not a veto."

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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