|Title||Conference of the Books: The Search for Beauty in Islam|
|Year of Publication||2001|
|Authors||Fadl KAbou El|
|Publisher||University Press of America|
|City||Lanham, MD, and Oxford|
|ISBN Number||Cloth: 9780761819493; paper: 9780761820819|
Based on actual cases, these original essays present an honest and critical evaluation of the problems and challenges that confront Muslims in the Contemporary world. Using the Muslim experience in the United States as a lens, the author examines what he identifies as a pervasive alienation suffered by Muslims over their place in history, source of identity, and moral foundations. The author imagines himself sitting in a conference of Islamic books- the Conference convening to examine the contemporary Muslim condition. Various influential intellectual trends are represented in this Conference, but the author is not a passive observer, he is an active participant who reacts to the Conference with introspection and critical moral insight. The author positions himself on a bridge between the intellectual heritage of Islam and the oppressive Muslim present, arguing that the salvation of one is intricately linked to the other. This book attempts to reclaim what the author maintains is a core moral value in Islam- the value of beauty.
This highly original book is in part a dialogue with Muslim scholars in the past, and, in part, a hymn to an enthralling vision that 'beauty' is to bring life to the truth of the Prophet. The dialogue shows the enormous breadth of [the author's] reading in classic works of learning by Muslims, and his vision suggests a new spiritual esthetic, which is both inspiring and challenging.— Roy Parviz Mottahedeh, Gurney Professor of History, Harvard University