Lavishly illustrated with over 300 pictures, including more than 200 in full color, The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide-ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest--and fastest growing--religion in the world.
John L. Esposito, Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World , has gathered together sixteen leading scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to examine the origins and historical development of Islam--its faith, community, institutions, sciences, and arts. Beginning in the pre-Islamic Arab world, the chapters range from the story of Muhammad and his Companions, to the development of Islamic religion and culture and the empires that grew from it, to the influence that Islam has on todays world. The book covers a wide array of subjects, casting light on topics such as the historical encounter of Islam and Christianity, the role of Islam in the Mughal and Ottoman empires, the growth of Islam in Southeast Asia, China, and Africa, the political, economic, and religious challenges of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Islamic communities in the modern Western world. In addition, the book offers excellent articles on Islamic religion, art and architecture, and sciences as well as bibliographies.
Events in the contemporary world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam. Written for the general reader but also appealing to specialists, The Oxford History of Islam offers the best of that recent scholarship, presented in a readable style and complemented by a rich variety of illustrations.
"A stunning achievement. John Esposito--Americas preeminent scholar of Islam--has brought together an array of international experts who present a masterful survey of Islamic history in a single volume. But this is a history with a purpose. Covering Islams origins in the seventh century, the development of its political, cultural and intellectual traditions, and its spread throughout the world, The Oxford History of Islam guides readers to an appreciation of both the richness of Islamic heritage and the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Islam. It should be required reading for all those interested in history, religion, and especially international affairs."--Tamara Sonn, Wm. R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Humanities, College of William and Mary
"Both bold brush strokes and subtle shadings make up this masterful, comprehensive picture of Islamic faith, law, science, art, philosophy, and politics in the Middle East, Africa, South and Central Asia, and the West from the seventh century to the present. Drawing on the expertise of renowned authorities from several disciplines, it is written in an accessible style and--rare for books these days--lavishly illustrated. This work will stand not simply as an erudite synthesis of Muslim thought and practice over the centuries, but as an elegant vade mecum for all those curious about the fastest growing religion in the world today."--James Piscatori, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
"A good introduction to Islamic history is hard to find, and readers interested in the worlds second largest religion can rejoice at finding this one. Esposito...has brought together a fine cadre of scholars for this anthology. Fifteen articles cover almost every subject that might interest a novice in the field: philosophy, science, art, architecture, and histories of Islamic empires and civilizations. The art (100 b&w photos and 200 four-color illustrations) comes fast and thick, adding a great deal to the text."--Publishers Weekly