Islam: The Straight Path

John L. Esposito, Author
John L. Esposito, Author Oxford University Press, USA $32.5 (240p) ISBN 978-0-19-504398-3
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Esposito ( Islam in Asia , etc.), professor of international studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, Mass., refreshingly eschews the more sensationalist aspects of contemporary Islam for a detailed survey of early Islamic history and a thorough review of the intricacies of Islamic law and ritual, and of the development of the various and often conflicting interpretations of these traditions in the modern world. The book corrects many popular misconceptions (e.g., that Friday is the ``Muslim Sabbath'' or that women are enjoined by the Quran to wear the veil) and is especially good on delineating the beliefs and practices of the Shii Muslims. Unfortunately, in his attempt to be factual and dispassionate, the author tends to present the material in a dry, toneless manner. And the proliferation of Arabic terms, inadequately defined in the glossary, will confuse those readers unfamiliar with the religion. Despite these shortcomings, this is a helpful guide to the history and current status of the world's fastest-growing religion. (August)
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