This series of volumes on the manifold facets of Islamic culture is intended to acquaint a very wide public with the theological bases of its faith; the status of the individual and of society in the Islamic world; its expansion since the Revelation; its cultural manifestations in literature and the arts; and finally, Islam today between loyalty to its past and the new challenges of modernity.
The last 100 years of Islamic history are examined in the final volume, although the approach is thematic rather than historical. The period considered has seen European colonialism in most of the Islamic world, and Islam has played a major role in the initiation and organization of resistance movements. We survey the groupings and forms of co-operation that have arisen since liberation from colonialism and investigate the political necessity and the moral stand that underlie the unity of the Islamic peoples. Social and economic progress is reviewed and space is devoted to such topics as the ongoing problem of Palestine, moves towards educational reform, and the status of women in Islam. As the Islamic world cannot be imagined in isolation, this volume examines the attitude of contemporary Islam towards other religions and cultures, and considers efforts aimed at achieving mutual understanding and coexistence in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries.