New This Month in Religion and Spirituality - March 2024

New This Month in Religion and Spirituality - March 2024

By Michelle Alamillo Date: March 22, 2024 Tags: New This Month, New Books, New in Paper, Religion and Spirituality, Islam, Sufism

This March we have three new titles in our series in Islam, which focuses on the theology and philosophy of this tradition. The series editor, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, is one of the best-known Muslim intellectuals in the West.

Bedeviled: Jinn Doppelgangers in Islam and Akbarian Sufism, by Dunja Rašić, is a groundbreaking study of jinn doppelgangers and the problem of evil in Akbarian Sufism.

"Bedeviled offers a niche and exciting exploration of Jinn doppelgangers in Islamic thought; it lays out both clearly and concisely debates Ibn Arabi and others were having about the qarin and gives the read an excellent introduction into the world of jinn studies." — Middle East Monitor

"This is the first solid treatment in English of Jinn in Akbarian Sufism, which is the least studied aspect of Ibn ʿArabī’s teachings. Rašić has a firm grasp of Ibn ʿArabī and articulates his recondite teachings in clear and simple language without compromising the nuances of his ideas." — Mukhtar H. Ali, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Metaphysical Institutions: Islam and the Modern Project, by Caner K. Dagli, explores the ultimate nature of the realities we call religions, cultures, civilizations, and traditions through the lens of a particular question often limited to religious studies, history, and anthropology, namely: "What is Islam?"

"This is a serious, imaginative, and thought-provoking deep dive into the relationship between Islam and the 'Modern Project.' It boldly expands no less than it challenges our understanding of both. Metaphysical Institutions will spawn robust and productive debate on numerous fronts, the question 'What is Islam?' for example, likely never ringing the same again. Caner Dagli has gifted the field with a handsome, fresh, courageous, thoughtful, and, no doubt, seminal contribution." — Sherman A. Jackson, King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture at the University of Southern California

"Metaphysical Institutions is a watershed achievement, and it is sure to become a major work of theory for decades to come. Dagli engages ongoing conversations in religious studies concerning how to theorize 'religion,' while also contributing to debates in the fields of anthropology, philosophy, and cultural studies concerning the very nature of social reality and what it means to study nonmodern traditions in a post-Enlightenment world. The structure of the book and its accessibility will allow scholars to make wider connections with their own work, and it will also give them first-hand exposure to notions of 'Islam' and how to conceptualize it."— Muhammad U. Faruque, author of Sculpting the Self: Islam, Selfhood, and Human Flourishing

"What is Islam? Who are Muslims? How do we talk about religion, tradition, culture, and civilization in the context of modernity? In this book, Caner Dagli offers us a rich and sophisticated discussion of such broad and complex questions that are being asked urgently in the contemporary period. By reassessing some fundamental assumptions about these related concepts, he introduces readers to a world of fruitful ambiguity where it is possible to craft meaningful answers through a theoretically rigorous process and the use of appropriate conceptual tools. Bound to generate animated conversations in academia and beyond." — Asma Afsaruddin, Class of 1950 Herman B Wells Endowed Professor, Indiana University

"Metaphysical Institutions perspicaciously and convincingly argues that metaphysical assumptions and worldviews—both well and ill-conceived, and acknowledged and unacknowledged—constitute the real bases for all of our theorizations and attendant conceptualizations of selfhood, religion, culture, and civilization in general, and Islam and Muslims in particular." — Mohammed Rustom, Professor of Islamic Thought and Global Philosophy, Carleton University

New in Paperback

Inrushes of the Heart: The Sufi Philosophy of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt, by Mohammed Rustom, delves deeply into the life and thought of 'Ayn al-Quḍāt Hamadānī (d. 525/1131), a major Muslim philosopher, Sufi master, and religious judge who was executed by the Seljuq government at the age of thirty-four.

"I am delighted that Mohammed Rustom has written this much-needed book which finally does justice to the teachings of 'Ayn al-Quḍāt, one of the most original and inspiring authors during a period that bore witness to a great flowering of Sufi teachings wedded to philosophical and theological acumen." — William C. Chittick, Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University

"In the fields of Islamic philosophy, mysticism, and theology, there is nothing remotely like this book, in any language, and it should therefore remain a standard reference and teaching resource for decades to come." — James Winston Morris, Professor Emeritus, Boston College

"Bringing to light the full spectrum of 'Ayn al-Quḍāt's bold and creative writings for the first time in modern scholarship, Inrushes of the Heart shows with blinding clarity why 'Ayn al-Quḍāt is to be seen as one of the most luminous stars in the night sky of Islamic spirituality and intellectuality." — Omid Safi, Professor of Islamic Studies, Duke University

"The lucid translations and painstaking historical research on display in Inrushes of the Heart can serve as a model for scholars of religion and philosophy in general, and Islamic thought in particular. This definitive book on one of pre-modern Islam's most significant thinkers will be an indispensable resource for students and researchers for decades to come." — Cyrus Ali Zargar, Al-Ghazali Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Central Florida

"'Ayn al-Quḍāt's scintillating spiritual prose is brought to life in this brilliant anthology by Mohammed Rustom. Rustom's impeccable historical and philological scholarship creates a conductor for 'Ayn al-Quḍāt's lightning-like flashes of insight on the nature of reality, humanity, intellect, ethics, and revelation. Inrushes of the Heart is a veritable defibrillator, shocking our spiritual hearts back to life." — Oludamini Ogunnaike, University of Virginia

Happy reading and come back to see what's new next month!