>>545414 I've read "No god, but God" and "Zealot" These are simply introductory books to long established scholarly claims. In short, these are books that get assigned to the reading list of undergrad classes in Religious Studies.
To put simply, his books are a repackage of theories and history already well known to those in the Ivory Towers. There is nothing special about his books, and most established scholars recognize this, however, undergrads are slow to see this.
Thus, he uses his creative writing techniques to present already aged established scholarly work in a more digestible way. His work is low-tier when it comes to scholarly analysis and development in the field of religious studies and history.
I've personally met him and his wife at an academic seminar at UCSB a few years back. He was nice guy, but very full of himself. He's the kind of person who won't let you get a word in when you engage in a conversation. I talked with him about some more recent academic articles, but I won't go into that here, it will probably go over everyones head (unless someone is genuinely interested).
>>545793 He agreed with everything I said, but then he went on to talk about a bunch of stuff that I already knew. I simply nodded my head and looked interested in what he was saying, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "I already know this"
But like I said, I'm not going to be disrespectful. I'm personally a contributing member of the field, so I'm not going to make enemies by being a dick to other scholars. Although, I know some that do just that.
>>545795 >he seems extremely dishonest to me. Intellectually as well as personally.
Not really, he is what I like to call a "second-hand scholar," which simply means he repackages and displays already established theories and data in the field. He not at all dishonest or disingenuous (although his Shi'ite chapter in No god but God was very soft), he is simply regurgitating already known theories in the field of Religious Studies. His work is not innovating... to say the least.
>>545816 I not sure if you have been around many scholars, but you should know, they tend to try and throw intellectual punches at each other by cutting down each others theoretical positions. I'll give you an example I experienced. I was at an academic seminar on the Dead Sea Scrolls, some scholars who were presenting papers cutting into the orthodox views of Father Roland de Vaux. Some scholars, with great zeal, presented Norman Golbs theories with new archeological evidence. By the end, there were certain lines in the sand, and I watched some scholars insult others because they didn't study enough Hebrew or Ancient Greek. It got heated rather fast.
Of course, you have to understand that many of these scholars have staked their entire academic careers on their theories and research. To have "new blood," as they like to call it, come in an overturn their ideas, sends angry ripples across specific academic fields. This often continues in academic articles in what can usually be perceived in sarcastic undertones where the intended scholar is mentioned by name. It can seem childish at times, but it does happen.
Of course, it's worth mentioning this isn't all scholars. There are many who don't get personal when engaged in scholarly discourse.
>>545827 And I agree with everything you just said, however he "genuinely" does not see it the way you and I do.
I agree full heartedly that he is only painting a small portion of the entire picture. Indeed, US that dates back tot he 1950s with the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, but you and I both know the funding of wahhabi terrorism is coming from the pockets of Muslim elites in Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia.
And of course, lets not even get into the theological mess Islam faces with their Hadith literature.
No doubt, you are not the first person to call Aslan, and other contemporaries on their narrow minded bullshit when it comes to Jihad. Good scholars know how to look at data and events in a multi-dimensional platform.
>>545829 >aimed at portraying Our Lord and Saviour
Sorry, but when you say things like this, it tends to automatically remove you from any secular or scholarly discussion on religion. A hint of advice, even if you are devoutly religious, try not to display that in an academic discourse or you will immediately come off as agenda seeking. I'm not saying this is the case for you, but what I am saying is good advice for the future if you wish to communicate on religious grounds. Theology has its place, but often it's not in a secular discourse.
>>545874 On the topic, I recommend one of the best books I've ever read. >pic related An astounding read, that is uniquely presented. I had the pleasure of meeting Jurgensmeyer at an academic symposium at CSULB. Probably one of the best speakers on this topic I have ever heard. He knows all about these terrorist leaders, because he met them and interviewed most of them.
>>545894 >Seriously Reza Aslan is to history and religion like Neil Degrasse Tyson is to science.
That is probably not such a bad comparison. Although, when Tyson was younger, he did have a few contributing academic articles published in his field.
However, when it comes to Aslan, you can't deny the fact that he is a good creative writer... Which would indeed explain why he is currently teaching a Creative Writing course to undergrads at UC Riverside (and not history or religious studies).
>>545869 Would you say that Islam has exported theological discussions to discussions about the authenticity of the hadiths, instead of discussing the more important scripture and tenents of the religion, which is not allowed (in order to still maintain a theological debate that effectively doesn't have much of an impact on the faith itself) ?
>>545904 It really is ironic how he constantly criticizes Sam Harris for being ignorant on the subject, while the only expertise he himself has on the subject is having brown skin and being from the ME.
>>545914 >Would you say that Islam has exported theological discussions to discussions about the authenticity of the hadiths, instead of discussing the more important scripture and tenents of the religion, which is not allowed (in order to still maintain a theological debate that effectively doesn't have much of an impact on the faith itself) ?
Yes, indeed. The Hadith is a massive body of work spanning over centuries (with different pens/authors). It comes with many problems, imo.
I study terrorism at postgraduate level and I've never even heard of him or this book, but it looks pretty good and I'll definitely read it. Perhaps he's more highly thought of in religious studies than political science.
...........Nasr is a believer and takes Islam absolutely seriously. Aslan is basically secular.
They differ on at least one extremely important point. For Nasr, ISIS is absolutely anti-Islamic, deploying outward forms of Islam that have been severed from the spiritual revelations of the Prophet which ultimately flow from God.
For Aslan, who is a non-essentially, anybody who in earnest calls themselves Muslim is Muslim.
The foreign policy influences are very real. Groups like ISIS are the product of a certain strain of Islamic revivalism responding to contemporary geopolitical events and ruptures.Islamic revivalism (al Afghani, Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood) was an anti-colonialist reassertion of Islamic identity in the face of at least a century of European domination, more in places like Egypt).
There's absolutely no question that fundamentalist groups are a kind of response to modernity, and since the Cold War, a response to the United States especially.
>>546974 My gripe is that several of your choices suck for various reasons. They tend toward Islamic commentary and apology rather than the scholarly and/or critical.
The Qurans suck. The 'Study Quran' is Islamic commentary rather than academic. AJ Droge's Quran is the best.
Karen Armstrong sucks. Azlan sucks. Nasr's is too short and full of Islam rather than history. Perhaps Destiny Disrupted is a better choice but I have not read it.
Is missing The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, but instead there's some books about Islam being democratic and respecting human rights. Half of the image are just books apologetic about Islamic terrorism.
Milestones is not there but Qutb reader is (which is mostly a Quranic commentary and barely mentions Milestones). I wonder why.
Let me guess, you're one of those people who thinks Islam is probably majority pro terrorism and suspect a liberalized watering down in every assertion to the contrary, but are pains to understand why the worlds Muslims seem for the most part to be engaged in buying, selling, eating, farming, raising families (Ie a lot of non jihad activities) both in the West and abroad??
It's an unfortunate quirk of contemporary political discourse that the conservative "tell-it-like-it-is" (more like "tell it like it immediately seems to be without examining the topic in detail or consulting experts") attitude is so prevalent as to cause the very upside-down situation whereby academics and scholars are instinctively mistrusted.
Dude, I've read almost all of those, do you really think you can pretend to have read them without me noticing?
The Qutb reader has plenty of excerpts from Milestones as well as the commentary. Since the Quranic commentary is the most influential thing Qutb wrote for the broader Islamic world, I thought it was a great suggestion since it includes both.
>full of Islam rather than history
"Religion, History and Civilization."
the idea was to present fundamentalist positions as well as anti-fundamentalist positions without having some idiotic American journalists/pundits intervening. So if someone wants to read the arguments for Qutb's Jihad in a Jahiliyya context, then they can read Qutb. If they want to read a more restricted view of Jihad they can read one of the essays that quotes Al Tabari.
Moreover I think islam is vast and beautiful and interesting and should not be analyzed on the singular axis of "what is their view of Jihad?" and so have tried to include cultural works as well as spiritual works which focus on the actual stuff of the religion.
But apparently you're a big guy expert in Islam who knows that Karen Armstrong "Sucks" (when's your book coming out? How bout your book review?). Perhaps you should recommend some good works for my sake.
Jesus, dude, what? No. Fuck no. I'm just thinking about things like Aslan talking about how wearing a hijab isn't mandatory, which disagrees with the majority of Islamic scholars (the people that are actually listened to on the issue).
>>547050 I don't think we're going to agree here, and I did give you suggestions but I'll basically repeat myself.
I see your point about Qutb but I still think Milestones is important enough to include on its own and I doubt the 7-8 pages that the reader dedicates to it would do it justice. Maybe I'm wrong but I doubt it.
I also think Droge's Quran is the best and The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam is essential and perfect as a reference or quick read (and is widely read).
I dislike Karen Armstrong because in my experience she says questionable things all the time, like "religion was never about belief until very recently" (paraphrased) without presenting any convincing evidence.
>"Religion, History and Civilization." There's not much history in it though but whatever, that's only a minor gripe compared to the rest.
>>545414 he's aight. I disagree with somethings he says "i.e Jesus , Buddha, Muhammad never meant to start a new religion.." but the contrarian edgelords on this board will try to convince you he has literally never said anything correct and is an idiot
Being pro-terrorism and spending most or all of your life doing normal person-stuff are not contradictory positions.
Few people seriously claim that the majority of Muslims are literally terrorists. However, it is not wrong to suggest that a worryingly large percentage do seem to express support for terrorist acts, as well as other behaviors that are at odds with contemporary western moral thought.
>>547560 >However, it is not wrong to suggest that a worryingly large percentage do seem to express support for terrorist acts, as well as other behaviors that are at odds with contemporary western moral thought.
Not him, but yes it is worrying. However, a lot of commentary concerning these widespread opinions in Muslim societies default to essentialism concerning the religion or the people.
>>549166 >"Aslan is less of a historian, and more of a reader of religious history, who then translates the material for a wider, sort of general public audience."
That pretty much sums up who Reza Aslan is.
>>546309 Just because you disagree with one theoretic claim given, doesn't mean the next theoretic claim is going to be wrong, or you may disagree with them... You have a lot to learn about scholarship.
>>545414 I don't think he is as smart as everyone tries to make him out to be. Kinda like that S E Cupp chick. She wrote 2 books, barely 200 pages in length each (both poorly sourced) and now she is some kind of expert? What the fuck is up with these pop intellectuals?
>>545764 I saw Reza Aslan at a grocery store in LA yesterday. I told him how cool it was to meet him in person, but I didn't want to be a douche and bother him and ask him for photos or anything. He said, "Oh, like you're doing now?" I was taken aback, and all I could say was "Huh?" but he kept cutting me off and going "huh? huh? huh?" and closing his hand shut in front of my face. I walked away and continued with my shopping, and I heard him chuckle as I walked off.
When I came to pay for my stuff up front I saw Reza trying to walk out the doors with like fifteen Milky Ways in his hands without paying. The girl at the counter was very nice about it and professional, and was like "Sir, you need to pay for those first." At first he kept pretending to be tired and not hear her, but eventually turned back around and brought them to the counter. When she took one of the bars and started scanning it multiple times, he stopped her and told her to scan them each individually "to prevent any electrical infetterence," and then turned around and winked at me. I don't even think that's a word. After she scanned each bar and put them in a bag and started to say the price, he kept interrupting her by yawning and acting like he didn't hear her.
>>545857 Taqiyya is a shiite concept that allows them to pretend not to be shiites if their lives are in danger. And Jesus was a zealot, he got himself killed because he couldn't keep quiet about his views.
>>555180 Yeah, I guess that's why his followers were pacifists ;) Just stop, Abu, you won't be able to present Our Lord and Saviour as a bloodthirsty and warmongering fanatic like Muhammad. No one's buying your taqiyya bullshit.
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