Why no ML title on Islam?

j b krygier jbkrygie at owu.edu
Sat Mar 1 10:11:34 EST 2003


Ron Thoman wrote:

> Until Karen Armstrong's 2000 "Islam: A Short History" ML apparently
> published nothing on Islam, while over the years published "The Buddhist
> Tradition", "The Hindu Tradition", "The Wisdom of Israel", "The Wisdom of
> China and India", "The Wisdom of Catholicism", "The Short Bible", and
> numerous other titles on other religions, religious traditions, and/or
> religious philosophies.
> 
> Given that Islam has through all the years of ML's long history been a
> major religion of the world and historically very important as well, I'm
> curious if Gordon, Jay, or others of you might have knowledge, insight or
> speculation about why ML, prior to 2000, never did a "Wisdom of Islam" or
> "The Islamic Tradition" or some other title on Islam.  It seems a curious
> oversight or omission.  The the Christian and Jewish faiths and
> philosophies might have been more numerically relevant to the ML customer
> population over the years, I can't imagine that Buddhism or Hinduism were
> more relevant than Islam during this time.

I asked a colleague who is a middle eastern specialist
about this, and the response was that it may have had
something to do with the 60s counter-culture interest
in Buddhism and Hindu thought (eastern religions).
There was some interest in the practices of Sufi, which
is primarily found among Muslims, but that was minor
compared to other eastern religions.

As Ron points out - the Jewish and Catholic volumes
probably appealed to the general ML and US customer
base.

John K.




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