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This book examines the development of contemporary Islamic movements and thought through the biographies of nine major activist intellectuals whose work povides the core of what the Islamic resurgence became in the 1990s, and is an important foundation for what it can become in the 21st century. By profiling nine such internationally recognised figures this volume provides a new understanding of the intellectual foundations of contemporary Islamic awareness and politics. The nine figures covered are: Ismail al-Faruqi, Khurshid Ahmad, Maryam Jameelah, Hasan Hanafi, Rashid Ghanushi, Hasan al-Turabi, Abdol Karim Soroush, Anwar Ibrahim, and Abdurrahman Wahid. These nine have contributed to some of the most significant intellectual and activist developments in the Muslim world during the 1980s and 1990s - the period during which Islamic movements became a major force in Muslim societies and international affairs. They represent a distinctive phase in the evolution of Islamic thinking: the ongoing effort to create an effective synthesis of modernity and Islamic tradition.
John L. Esposito is University Professor and Founding Director for the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. His publications include The Oxford History of Islam (OUP, 2000), The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality (OUP, 1999), Islam: The Straight Path (OUP, 1998), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (OUP, 1995), and Islam and Democracy (OUP, 1996). John O. Voll is Professor of Islamic History at Georgtown University. He is the author of Islam: Continuity and CHange in the Muslim World and coauthor of Islam and Democracy (OUP, 1996).