Great World Religions: Islam : The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion

  • by The Great Courses, John L. Esposito
  • Narrated by Professor John L. Esposito
  • Series: The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion
  • 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

How familiar are you with the world's second-largest and fastest-growing religion? In these 12 lectures, Professor Esposito guides you through the facts and myths surrounding Islam and its more than 1.2 billion adherents. Many in the West know little about the faith and are familiar only with the actions of a minority of radical extremists, but this lecture series will help you better understand Islam's role as both a religion and a way of life, and its deep impact on world affairs both historically and today.
What does the future hold for Islam and the West in the new century? How will it change under the influence of conservatives, reformers, and extremists? Moving from Muhammad to the present, from the 7th to the 21st centuries, you'll explore Muslim beliefs, practices, and history in the context of its significance and impact on Muslim life and society through the ages, as well as world events today. Topics you'll cover include the life and legacy of the prophet Muhammad; the nature and true meaning of jihad; the Muslim beliefs about other faiths such as Judaism and Christianity; Islamic contributions to mathematics, science, and art; the intricate relationship between Islam, modernization, capitalism, and democracy; and much more.
Professor Esposito takes a closer look at the historical development of two great Islamic institutions: Islamic law and Islamic mysticism. And he examines the worldwide "struggle for the soul of Islam" occurring today between conservatives and reformers, mainstream Muslims and extremists.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

As a Muslim, this is fairly accurate

As a Muslim, I wanted to understand how Islam is being presented to non-Muslims in an academic way. This is fairly accurate on the fundamentals, but there were several points I would have wanted to correct the professor at, especially in the second half of the course.
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- Deep Reader "Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject."

Beginning to Understand

Would you consider the audio edition of Great World Religions: Islam to be better than the print version?

Not applicable.


Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters. It's a lecture series.


Have you listened to any of Professor John L. Esposito’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't but he was engaging.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Not possible.


Any additional comments?

I have a Christian background and didn't understand this third member of the Abrahamic tradition. There is a lot of information and you will begin to understand not only the divergence from Judaism and Christianity but the split between Sunni and Shia. I recommend it with caution because you will know that you understand more but also that a mountain of information is still out there.

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- Adam

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses