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For more than fourteen hundred years Muslims have held multiple and diverging views about their religious tradition. This divergence encompasses such matters as authority; ritual practice; political power; law and governance; civic life; and the form and content of individual and communal expressions of their faith. Over the centuries Muslims have regularly debated these issues amongst themselves. However, despite the remarkable diversity of the Islamic tradition, and the plurality of understandings about Islam, Muslims are regularly and erroneously portrayed as internally homogeneous and dogmatic. This important book challenges such propositions by examining the ways in which matters of common concern to Muslims have been discussed by them and examined. The volume explores the processes by which Muslims construct notions of the self, the other and community, and addresses the socio-cultural tools that they employ in so doing. Offering contributions by world-class scholars, Diversity and Pluralism in Islam applies insights from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, history, literature, political theory, comparative literature and Islamic studies.

It will be of extensive interest to scholars and students in these fields, as well as to all those with a serious interest in Muslim societies and cultures.