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The Handy Islam Answer Book


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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Part One: Historical Perspectives
1. Origins and early expansion
2. Islam's Growth into a Global Community
3. Politics and Contemporary Global Affairs
Part Two: Religious Perspectives
4. Sacred Sources and their Interpretation
5. Essential Beliefs
6. Symbols, Rituals, and Religious Observances
7. Themes in Islamic Spirituality
8. Authority, Law and Ethics
9. Islam and Other Faiths
Part Three: Cultural Perspectives Learning and Communicating Islamic Values
10. Culture and Religion
11. Knowledge, Scholarship, and the Islamic Humanities
12. Aesthetics, Literature, the Visual and Spatial Arts

Suggestions for Further Reading
Global Timeline

About the Author

John Renard, Ph.D. received his doctorate in Islamic studies from Harvard University's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 1973. He teaches courses in Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, religion and the arts, and comparative theology in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He has written extensively on Islam. His most recent books include Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood (2008), Tales of God's Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation (2009), and Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective (2011), all for University of California Press. He also authored Visible Ink Press's popular comparative religion primer, The Handy Religion Answer Book.


"... a helpful and comprehensive introduction to Islam ... an invaluable asset for schools, libraries, and individuals seeking an informed and organized reference book for those curious about Islam and its role in today's world." Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. This highly accessible and satisfying book ... well-written and captivating resource explains Islam using an accessible and balanced approach A strong choice for anyone of high school age and above who wishes to know about Islam and for those who provide ready reference." Library Journal

"Renard, a professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, clearly knows his subject ..." School Library Journal

"In The Handy Islam Answer Book by John Rendard, PhD, you'll find the answers to the things you wonder: history, legal matters, and basic beliefs, all at your fingertips." Bookworm Sez

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