Encyclopaedic Works on Islamic Political Thought and Movements in the Twenty-first Century

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Tauseef Ahmad Parray

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Books Reviewed: Gerhard Bowering, et. al., eds., The Princeton Encyclopedia
of Islamic Political Thought (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University
Press, 2013); John L. Esposito and Emad El-Din Shahin, eds., The Oxford
Handbook of Islam and Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013);
Emad El-Din Shahin, ed., Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics, 2 vols.
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
During last two decades or so, many encyclopedias have been published on
Islam and its history – classical to contemporary – with a modern approach,
among them Richard Martin’s two-volume Encyclopedia of Islam and the
Muslim World 1 and John L. Esposito’s Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern
Islamic World.2 Other encyclopedic works focus on specific eras, like Josef
Meri’s Medieval Islamic Civilization.3 One more category is that of Islam and
politics, political Islam, and/or the various facets, complexities, and intricacies
of Islamic movements. This essay focuses on three works that discuss the
themes and issues that fall in this last category.
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (EIPT)4 is a
wide-ranging one-volume publication, as well as the first encyclopedia and
reference work on Islamic political thought. It includes articles ranging from
the classical to the contemporary periods and incorporates the eras from the
Prophet’s time to the present. Written by prominent scholars and specialists
in the field, The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics (OHIP)5 is a singlevolume
sourcebook that provides a comprehensive analysis of “whatwe know
and where we are in the study of political Islam,” thereby enabling scholars,
students, and policymakers “to appreciate the interaction of Islam and politics
and the multiple and diverse roles of Islamic movements” both regionally and
globally (p. 2; italics mine). By analyzing Islam and politics through a detailed
and profound study, the two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and ...

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