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Great World Religions: Islam by John L. Esposito

Great World Religions: Islam

by John L. Esposito

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Product Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
6 Hrs.
User Rating
  3.8  Stars Based on 2 ratings
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University professor and international government and media consultant John L. Esposito guides you through the facts and myths surrounding Islam and its more than 1.2 billion adherents.

This course provides an understanding of Islam’s role as both a religion and a way of life, and its deep impact on world affairs both historically and today.

You will learn about:

  • The possible future hold for Islam and the West
  • Muhammad
  • Jihad
  • Muslim beliefs about other faiths
  • Islamic civilization’s contributions to art, law, and science
  • whether the Quran condones terrorism and what it says about God
  • the role of women in Islam
  • whether Islam is compatible with modernization, capitalism, and democracy.

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Reviews & Ratings
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Reviewer LOLAlex
 February 17, 2006
Good Stuff, but I Hoped for More

General Content - When I sat down with John L. Esposito's lecture series, I was looking forward to gaining some insights into Islam, a religion that has become a major factor in world events. While I certainly did learn a great deal about Islam in general, I never really gained a deeper understanding of the religion itself.

This lecture series mostly concerns itself with the history of Muhammad and the events that shaped the religion that sprouted from his teachings and prophecy. For most Westerners, this is new information and it does enable the uninitiated to understand where Islam comes from and how it was shaped over the course of its history. As well, it shows many ways in which Islam has changed over the years and how it has been affected and is being affected by the contemporary world. Thus, for many listeners, Prof. Esposito's lecture series will certainly provide an excellent basis for understand this force in modern affairs and, in fact, dispels a lot of myths about the religion and its adherents.

However, the lecture series does not attempt to provide a larger understanding of Islam itself. Rather than diving into the essential ideas behind Islamic thought either now or in the past, it tends to acknowledge a few ideas while avoiding actual conclusions and theses on the effects of these ideas and their effects on the world at-large. This may have a great deal to do with the fact that this lecture series was compiled after 9/11 and there is still some fear of making assumptions that are too broad for their own good. However, this makes the excellent information contained in the lectures feel incomplete.

Audio Content - I listened to the six-CD version of Great World Religions: Islam, 2nd Edition by Professor John L. Esposito and found the audio to be a bit herky-jerky. This is because Prof. Esposito has a tendency to pause between statements, leaving a space of empty air that begs for something to fill it. Though listeners can, eventually, get used to his style, his pregnant pauses sometimes draw out a little too long, as though an idea is occurring to him at the time. This often gave me the feeling of being left hanging, as though there was something coming which never quite arrived.

Overall, this lecture series is very good for a place to start exploring Islam. However, for those who want a deeper understanding of this great world religion, this lecture series is always one step away from being complete.

More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: G002660
Available On
Audio CD
6 Discs
2 Discs