Mirror for the Muslim Prince Islam and the Theory of Statecraft By Mehrzad Boroujerdi (ed.) (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2013. 465 pages.)

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Sajjad Rizvi



Everyone seems to be interested in Islamic political thought these days, no
doubt as a result of the rise and fall of Islamisms/post-Islamisms and other
contemporary configurations of Islam and politics. And then there are the claimants for a new caliphate. However, most concerns with political thought
– with the exception of the large Princeton Encyclopaedia edited by Patricia
Crone and Gerhard Bowering – tend to focus their attention on either the early
and classical debates on the imamate (e.g., Crone), classical philosophy and
the “Arabic context” for Platonopolis (e.g., Nelly Lahoud), or the medieval
akhlāq literature (e.g., Linda Darling and Muzaffar Alam), or even modern
permutations (far too many examples to mention). It is a rare work indeed
that tries to bring a range of perspectives in a diachronic analysis over space,
time, and political theologies into a single volume. The success and achievement
of Boroujerdi’s volume is to do precisely that and to collate contributions
from some of the most acute and incisive scholars writing on issues relating
to Islam and politics in contemporary, metropolitan academia ...

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