New Book: Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith

I am pleased to announce the release of my new book, Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith, published by Brill (Leiden, Netherlands). This book critically examines the unique challenges facing Muslims in Europe and North America. From the philosophical perspective of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, this book attempts not only to diagnose the current problems stemming from a marginalization of Islam in the secular West, but also to offer a proposal for a Habermasian discourse between the religious and the secular. By highlighting historical examples of Islamic and western rapprochement, and rejecting the clash of civilization thesis, the author attempts to find a common language between the religious and the secular, which can serve as a vehicle for a future reconciliation.

It is available for purchase on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and other intelligent bookstores. It can also be found on Brill’s website: http://www.brill.com

Brill Academic Publishing (2016) ISBN: 978-9004325357 356 pp. $178.00 (List price)

The paperback will be released by Haymarket Books in Chicago, in late 2017.

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Ayatollah Khomeini and the Anatomy of the Islamic Revolution in Iran: Toward a Theory of Prophetic Charisma (2011)

This book attempts to explain how and why Ayatollah Khomeini was able to lead the Iranian people in their successful revolution against the Shah of Iran. Bringing together the sociological study of charisma by the sociologist Max Weber and the critical psychology of Erich Fromm, especially his analysis of the “prophet” and “priest,” Byrd develops a theory of “prophetic charisma,” which attempts to explain how Khomeini’s thoughts and actions made him uniquely qualified to guide Iran from under the Shah’s dictatorship. He pays close attention to the importance of authority, and how Khomeini’s authority to lead the revolution is tied with the charismatic authority that began with the prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, Byrd concentrates on the relationship between Khomeini and the political Marxist-Leninists movements and groups in Iran at the time of the revolution. The book demonstrates how his “Islamization” of leftist language helped infuse a radical Islamo-Marxist critique of the Shah into the Iranian masses. Byrd shows how Khomeini not only benefited from the Left’s activities in Iran but also how their critical analysis of the Iranian situation influenced Khomeini’s own thoughts and language.

University Press of America (2011) ISBN: 978-0761854852 130 pp. $31.99

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and other enlightened bookstores. Or, it can be purchased directly from the publisher at: http://www.rowman.com

 

Out Now: Ali Shariati and the Future of Social Theory: Religion, Revolution and the Role of the Intellectual.

I’m pleased to announce Seyed Javad Miri and I’s new co-edited book on Ali Shariati, the revolutionary theorist who was instrumental in the removal of the U.S. imposed dictator of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi Shah. This book is comprised of fourteen essays written by scholars from numerous countries, all exploring the work, legacy, and continual relevance of Ali Shariati’s thought and praxis. It would be of interest to those who study revolutionary philosophy, critical sociology, Iranian history, political Islam, and Islamic liberation theology.

 

The book was released in hardcover in the winter of 2017 by Brill (Leiden, Netherlands).

Out Now: Unfashionable Objections to Islamophobic Cartoons: L’affaire Charlie Hebdo

On January 7, 2015, two armed men dressed in masks made their way into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, intent on killing those who had drawn derisive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. The satirical magazine based in Paris was well-known for its mockery of politicians, right-wing extremists, racists, and religious figures, including the Pope, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Once inside, the two gunmen shot and killed twelve employees, including the magazines editor and cartoonist, Stéphane Charb Charbonnier. Although Charb often claimed to defend minorities, especially Muslims, against the rising tide of racism in France, all in the name of the French Enlightenment, he nevertheless fell victim to the dialectic of the Enlightenment, in which the Enlightenment itself is functionalized as a tool of repression. This book critiques the political philosophy of Stéphane Charbonnier, showing how the new Enlightenment Fundamentalism of the political left contributes to the Islamophobic politics of Europes neo-fascist right. Drawing on the perspectives of the Frankfurt School for Social Research, it highlights that a true commitment to the Enlightenment ideals requires that the secular left and religious communities enter into a discourse by which they can find common ground. Without such an engagement, the secular left will increasingly isolate itself from the prophetic, emancipatory and liberational elements within Abrahamic religion, especially Islam. In doing this, those committed to the Enlightenment abandon a key ally in the struggle against the barbarity of neo-liberalism, nationalism, and neo-fascism, which now threatens to overcome Europe and America. Thus, the secular Cain must not slay the religious Abel, but rather find a way to live as brothers and allies in an increasingly dark world.

Cambridge Scholars Press (2017) ISBN:978-1443891240  179 pp.

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and other recalcitrant bookstores. It can also be bought direct from the publisher at http://www.cambrdigescholars.com

A Critique of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Religion: The Gospel according to John Galt

Ayn Rand’s philosophy has once again found an important part on the American political stage. With the rise of the Tea Party movement, her political and economic philosophy has infused the American public discourse with a new Libertarian vitality. Ironically, many of her new followers identify themselves as committed Christians, a prospect that Rand herself would have rejected. This book critically reviews Rand’s secular-atheist philosophy of religion, which includes her theory of altruism, collectivism, and statism, and asks the questions: How did Ayn Rand become conservative Christians’ favorite atheist?; Can Christianity, or any other prophetic religion, be reconciled with her philosophy of greed, selfishness, and capitalism?; Can one be both a Christian and a dedicated follower of Ayn Rand?; Can one appropriate her political and economic philosophy while rejecting her radical atheism and anti-religious stance?

Lexington Books (2015). ISBN: 978-0739190333. 238 pp. $85.00

http://www.rowman.com

This book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and other critical bookstores.

Out now: Malcolm X: From Political Eschatology to Religious Revolutionary

Edited by Dustin J. Byrd, Olivet College, USA and Seyed Javad Miri, Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Iran

In the year 2015 we remembered the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination in Harlem, New York. Spurred by the commitment to continue the critical work that Malcolm X began, the scholars represented in the book have analysed the enduring significance of Malcolm X’s life, work and religious philosophy. Edited by Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri, Malcolm X: From Political Eschatology to Religious Revolutionary, represents an important investigation into the religious and political philosophy of one of the most important African-American and Muslim thinkers of the 20th century. Thirteen different scholars from six different countries and various academic disciplines have contributed to our understanding of why Malcolm X is still important fifty years after his death.

Contributors are: Syed Farid Alatas, Dustin J. Byrd, Bethany Beyyette, Louis A. DeCaro, Stephen C. Ferguson, William David Hart, John H. McClendon, Seyed Javad Miri, John Andrew Morrow, Emin Poljarevic, Rudolf J. Siebert, Nuri Tinaz and Yolanda Van Tilborgh.

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other revolutionary bookstores. Or, it is available at http://www.brill.com

Brill Academic Publishing (2016) ISBN: 978-9004308671 380pp. $175 (List price)

The paperback is also available through Haymarket Press in Chicago.

Malcolm X Paperback Cover

 

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