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Contemporary Islam

Contemporary Islam

Dynamics of Muslim Life

Editor-in-Chief: Ronald Lukens-Bull

ISSN: 1872-0218 (print version)
ISSN: 1872-0226 (electronic version)

Journal no. 11562

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Guidelines for Reviews in Contemporary Islam 

Review Objectives: An analytic or critical review of a book is more than a summary; it should evaluate the work in terms of its theoretical strengths and weaknesses, methodology, style, readability, and accuracy. A useful review is also one that places the text in the context of the available literature and provides the reader with references to other significant texts relevant to the issue. The reviewer has a duty to be candid and honest, but neither a blanket dismissal nor an uncritical acceptance should be the goal. Criticism should be elaborated with specific reasons given, so both the author and readers can evaluate the basis of the criticism. Reviews should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, should contain nothing that might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of race, sex, culture or any other characteristic, and should use inclusive language throughout.
Length: There is no length limit on book reviews. Most are within the range of 1000-1500 words, but longer and more detailed reviews are encouraged, as are article length reviews of several texts.
Review Process: As you read the text, it is useful to make notes and consider the relevance of the following general questions:
• What is the specific topic of the book or article? Citing the author’s own description is a good way to orient the reader. What are the major issues, time period covered, discipline of the author and theoretical orientation of the narrative?
• Who is the primary audience of the book? How effective is the communication of the information to a general reader? How might the book be useful as a course text?
• How effective is the author in fulfilling the stated goals throughout the text?
• What does the text contribute to the existing literature on the subject? Is it likely to be a standard reference in the future? Are there sources that the author could have usefully consulted?
• How are the materials used to demonstrate and argue the thesis of the text? Here it would be useful to quote specific passages to indicate the author's writing style and tone.
• Are there alternative ways of arguing from the same material? Does the author show awareness of these?
• What theoretical or methodological issues and topics for further discussion does the work raise?
• What are your own reactions and considered opinions regarding the work and how did you come to these?
Manuscript Format: All material, including the quotations and footnotes, must be typed, double-spaced, and one-sided, with ample margins left and right, top and bottom. Please provide your submission in a standard (Word, rtf) word processing format. Prepare your heading for the book in the following format:
Review of Daniel Martin Varisco, Islam Obscured: The Rhetoric of Anthropological Representation [title italic]. New York: Palgrave, 2005, ix + 226 pp. ISBN 1-4039-6772-5
Citations: All direct quotations in reviews need to be identified. For the book under review use the page number [e.g., p. 15]. For citations to other sources, place the reference in parenthesis with the page number cited, [e.g., Smith fails to mention the important surveys on the anthropology of Islam by Clifford Geertz (1968, Islam Observed, Chicago) and Abdul Hamid el-Zein (1977, Beyond ideology and theology: The search for the anthropology of Islam,” Annual Review of Anthropology 6:227-254)].
Manuscript Submission: Contemporary Islam does not accept unsolicited reviews. If you wish to review a book, please contact the editor. Submit your review electronically at http://www.editorialmanager.com/cois.

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For authors and editors

  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope


    The importance to study and understand Islam and contemporary Muslim life from a socio-scientific perspective seems more relevant than ever. Currently, there is no specific journal that offers a platform for discussion on contemporary aspects of Islam and Muslims. Indeed, the historical, political and comparative approach to Islam has been preferred over social scientific research and themes. Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life aims to fill this gap by providing an active forum for the discussion of new ideas, fieldwork experiences, challenging views, and methodological and theoretical approaches to Muslim life.       

    Topical and interdisciplinary
    Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life focuses on topical issues and takes an interdisciplinary approach that benefits from a cross-cultural perspective: articles will explore the relationship between Islam and its contemporary cultural, material, gender, economic, political, and religious expressions from different socio-scientific perspectives, such as anthropology, sociology, education, politics, international relations, ethnomusicology, arts, film studies, economics, human rights, international law, diaspora minority studies, demography, and ethics.

    The journal provides insights into the contemporary dynamics of Muslim life by focusing on questions concerning ordinary aspects of everyday life of Muslims as well as more systemic concerns.  The journal focuses on what Muslims actually do rather than what one reading or another of the texts suggest that they should do.  Papers on the lived experiences of Muslim  in both Muslim minority and Muslim Majority contexts are encouraged. Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life regards Islam as a modern religion in today’s global societies.

    Readership and Editorial Board
    As the first socio-scientific journal to focus on Muslim life, Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life will be of interest to scholars and students in various academic fields related to the world of Islam. The editorial board reflects the multidisciplinary approach of the journal.

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    Instructions for Authors


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