Journal Article

Islamic Studies in the American Academy: A Personal Reflection

Richard C. Martin

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 78, issue 4, pages 896-920
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI:
Islamic Studies in the American Academy: A Personal Reflection

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This essay explains several aspects of the intellectual and political environment in which Islamic studies came of age and became a field of study in America during the last four decades. It describes a time in which Orientalism came under attack and Islamist activism came into Western public view and debate, beginning with the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and continually highlighted by such events as 9/11 and the controversy over the attempt to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. Finding space in the AAR as a venue for the academic study of Islamic religion is described as a conflicted process, with different and competing visions of the mission of Islamic studies scholarship in the Academy. Despite an array of continuing challenges, the successes of the retiring and ongoing groups of Islamicists in the AAR have overall served well the professional interests of the Academy and Islamic studies specialists.

Journal Article.  10063 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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