Intercultural attitudes and, specifically, attitudes towards Muslims societies have attracted considerable attention in recent years. There is widespread interest in understanding what the underlying factors of both real and perceived tensions are and how they can be dealt with. Islamic studies originated in the tradition of Orientalist scholarship and Christian theology, with its strong textual emphasis, but it has gradually expanded to overlap with Middle East area studies as well as a number of humanistic and social science disciplines, especially religious studies. Over the past several decades, and especially since 9/11, scholarly interest in Islamic studies has thrived. This interest is visible in the number of doctoral dissertations produced on Islam and Muslims over the past half-century.
Handbook on Islamic and Muslim Studies is intended to contain the study of all aspects of Islam and of the Islamic world, dealing with history, geography, political science, economics, anthropology, sociology, law, literature, religion, philosophy, international relations, environmental and developmental issues, as well as ethical questions related to scientific research. This book aims to offer an overview of some of the important issues in the study of Islam that scholars discuss at present. The study of Islam is part of a tradition that started in Western academia on a professional scale about two centuries ago, and has always been linked to social concerns. This book brings together scholars studying Islam and Muslim societies share an understanding of Islam as a historical and socio-cultural phenomenon.