Review by Choice Review
The scholarly editorial board that compiled this set attempts to present a comprehensive view of Islam for general readers. Historically focused, the encyclopedia covers a broad range of topics, including regional variations (e.g., "South Asian Culture and Islam"), contrasts with other religions ("Islam and Hinduism"), basic concepts of the belief system ("Holy Cities"), and Muslim thinking on a variety of moral issues ("Martyrdom"). More than 500 entries, arranged in alphabetical order, range from a few paragraphs ("Saladin") to several pages ("Succession"); lengthier topics are subdivided. Signed entries include cross-references and bibliographies; some supply illustrations and italicized Arabic terms. Also included are a glossary of the most common Arabic terms, genealogies of early Muslim dynasties, a time line of Muslim history, an index, lists of entries and contributors, and a synoptic outline of entries. Although there is nothing unique about the text, it is easily read and requires no prior knowledge of the discipline. A solid choice for libraries needing a general treatment of Islam in sufficient detail. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduates. C. A. Sproles University of Louisville
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
The reference literature for Islam has long consisted of either a densely academic, multivolume encyclopedia or several, often specialized, single-volume works with brief definitions. Happily, there is now a reference work falling between these two extremes. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World 0 is a scholarly work "about Islamic cultures, religion, history, politics, and the like as well as the people who have identified with Islam over the past fourteen centuries." A team of international scholars is responsible for the 515 entries, which are arranged alphabetically and range from 200 to 5,000 words in length. Many include some sort of illustration and end with helpful see0 also 0 references and excellent supplemental bibliographies. A useful index completes the set. Coverage includes the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.). Cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language) are also treated. Entries such as Political organization0 and Political thought0 demonstrate the historical completeness for which the encyclopedia strives, tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. Even topics of contemporary interest include a historical perspective. The entry for Jihad0 describes the many meanings of the term, including its contemporary association with violence, and how the concept has developed historically. The treatment of secularization in the Muslim world includes a comparison to historical events in the West, thereby helping the reader to understand that it cannot be understood solely from a Western perspective. Finally, the biographical entries include important figures from the religious, cultural, and political history of the Muslim world. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World0 (1995) is close in spirit and size (four volumes) to this new work, but its coverage includes far less of historical figures and events. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World0 , on the other hand, "seeks to contextualize contemporary Islam within the longer history of Islam." As such, it can easily serve as a standard reference source with its scholarly, yet accessible, content. Highly recommend for academic and large public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Hailed as the fastest-growing religion of the 21st century, Islam contends with Christianity for the highest number of adherents. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 on U.S. soil instigated mass interest in the Islamic worldview (e.g., interpretations of the Qur'an, doctrines such as Jihad, and the role of women in Arab societies). This encyclopedia, edited by Martin (Islamic studies & history of religion, Emory Univ.) provides an interdisciplinary examination of the 1400-year-old tradition, which began with prophet Mohammed's revelation. It not only addresses core tenets of Islamic beliefs but also broaches how the Muslim vision interacts with or relates to other major world religions. For example, specific entries focus on "Christianity and Islam," "Judaism and Islam," "Hinduism and Islam," etc.; articles also concentrate on Islam's interface with other cultures (e.g., "American Culture and Islam"). Broadly speaking, this work has a global and interconnected tone. There's even an entry about the Internet and how Islam's "digital presence" will impact both microcosms and the macrocosm. Overall, the work succeeds in demonstrating that the Islamic faith has permeated and left an indelible mark on history as well as the future. Each of the more than 500 signed A-to-Z entries features a bibliography as well as cross references, and the work as a whole is enriched with genealogies, time lines, maps, and even a few color photographs (an eight-page insert in each volume). One caveat: the publisher rather ostentatiously states that this is a one-of-a-kind resource, though other publishers have staked their claims in the area. (Just do a subject search on "Islam-Encyclopedias" in the Library of Congress catalog.) Although this set will benefit primarily high school and college students, it can also serve the broader audience of lay readers. Strongly recommended for both public and academic libraries, as well as specialized collections that focus on religion and theology.-C. Brian Smith, Arlington Heights Memorial Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.