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Head of Zeus
A Short History of Islamic Thought
A Short History of Islamic Thought by Fitzroy Morrissey

Fitzroy Morrissey's brilliant guide to Islamic thought – from its foundation in the seventh century to the present day.

'A magisterial accomplishment' Professor Eugene Rogan
'The best guide to Islamic thinking that I've read' James Barr
'I greatly enjoyed [it]' Peter Frankopan, Spectator, Books of the Year

Day after day we read of the caliphate and the Qur'an, of Sunni and Shi'a, Salafis and Sufis. Almost a quarter of the world's populate is Muslim. Understanding the modern world requires knowing something about Islam.

Tracing fourteen centuries of Islamic history – from the foundation of Islam in the seventh century and the life of Muhammad, through the growth of great Islamic empires, to the often fraught modern period – Fitzroy Morrissey considers questions of interpretation and legacy, of God and His relationship with His followers, of the lives of Muslims and how they relate to others. He presents the key teachings of the Qur'an and Hadith, analyzes the great works of Islamic theology, philosophy, and law, and delves into the mystical writings of the Sufis. He considers the impact of foreign cultures – Greek and Persian, Jewish and Christian – on early Islam, accounts for the crystallization of the Sunni and Shi'i forms of the faith, and explains the rise of intellectual trends like Islamic modernism and Islamism in recent times. In this way, Morrissey presents not a monolithic creed, but a nuanced faith made up of several often competing – and always fascinating – intellectual tendencies.

This concise and engaging volume will appeal to readers looking to better understand the world's second largest religion and to those interested in the intellectual history of the last millennium and a half.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Philosophy
11 Nov 2021 * 256pp * £7.99 * 9781789545678
'A magisterial accomplishment based on extensive reading into Islamic sources across the centuries. Balanced and clear, and a fascinating read, this is the best guide to the history and theology of Islam in print'
Professor Eugene Rogan
'This lucid, concise and humane book is the best guide to Islamic thinking that I've read. Fitzroy Morrissey explains the key developments, from the Qu'ran to Khomeini, setting them in a context that makes them much easier to grasp and writing in a way that makes you want to know what happened next. If you are looking for an introduction to the principles of Islam, or for enlightenment on the Sunni-Shia split or Islam's different schools of thought, this is the book you need'
James Barr
'I greatly enjoyed Fitzroy Morrissey's A Short History of Islamic Thought'
'This is a book I know I will frequently refer to. The subject is both relevant and daunting. In Morrissey's hands it is fascinating and a pleasure to read'
James Barr, Engelsberg Ideas
Fitzroy Morrissey
Fitzroy Morrissey
Fitzroy Morrissey is a historian of the Islamic world and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He speaks Arabic and Persian and has a DPhil in Oriental Studies from Oxford, where he currently teaches on the Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Theology courses. He works on the intellectual history of the Muslim world, focusing on Sufism, Islamic philosophy, Muslim views of other religions and modern Islamic thought.
Wise Words
A Short History of Islamic Thought