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Resurgent Islam: A Sociological Approach



Resurgent Islam: A Sociological Approach

Philip W. Sutton, Stephen Vertigans

ISBN: 978-0-745-63233-9 November 2005 Polity 248 Pages

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The contemporary resurgence of Islam in all of its varied manifestations demands the attention of social scientists. This ground-breaking book provides a unique insight into resurgent Islam from the standpoint of sociology. Clearly written, and jargon free, the book aims to create a more comprehensive and balanced understanding of recent Islamic resurgence.

Amongst the many themes explored, the book brings together in a single theoretical framework debates on the diversity of Islam, moderate and radical forms of Islamic belief, secularisation, the role of education and socialisation, the impact of globalization processes, and 'Islamic terrorism' and its causes.

Resurgent Islam provides a genuinely refreshing sociological alternative to the many politically loaded arguments on 'Islam and the West'. As such, it encourages deeper reflection on the causes of the current religious resurgence and associated conflicts.

The book will be essential reading for students across the social sciences, and for anyone seeking to understand how Islam has risen to prominence in local, national, and global contexts.



1. Resurgent Islam in a Secular World

2. The Paradox of Secularization

3. Sacrifice and Salvation in 'Islamic Terrorism'

4. Islam and Globalization

5. Clash of Civilizations and Civilizing Processes

6. Secular Establishment and Islamic Outsiders

7. Resurgent Islam and Sociology




“Aims to offer a refreshing and rigorous sociological analysis of the worldwide resurgence of Islam, focusing on ‘the underlying social processes produced by the expanding figurational relations of interdependent people within Muslim societies and between nation-states’. This aim is achieved with style. Lucidly and confidently written, this book uses sociological perspectives to challenge as well as improve current understanding of, and explanation for,the growth of the Islamic faith and activism across the world, significantly since 9/11.”
British Journal of Sociology

“While the sociology of Islam flourished in the early twentieth century, recent contributions to the sociology of 'resurgent Islam' have been modest. Sutton and Vertigans have therefore made an important contribution towards bringing sociology back in. Their highly readable account of Islam draws on sociological studies of suicide, the civilising process, globalization theory, clash of civilisations thesis, secularisation theory and the analysis of the state. The result is a comprehensive theoretical framework that is sociological, scholarly and stimulating.”
Bryan S. Turner, National University of Singapore

  • Introductory undergraduate textbook that examines Islamic resurgence from a sociological perspective.
  • Clearly discusses and evaluates existing theories and evidence, relating these to the kind of contemporary in which students take interest.
  • Strong appeal to upper-level undergraduates and above taking courses in the sociology of religion, religion and politics, and the sociology of Islam in particular.