Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change

January 1, 2007

This book by Muhammad Qasim Zaman examines the evolving public role of religious scholars in contemporary Muslim societies. It focuses on the Deobandi community in Pakistan, and places it in a broader comparative perspective that includes cases from Iran to the Philippines. Zaman analyzes the substantive transformation of the ulama and their religious and political discourse, showing how their self-understanding as guardians of tradition interacts with their participation in contemporary debates in the public sphere, such that they both shape and are shaped by broader social trends in the Muslim world.

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