"This fascinating and engaging volume can and must be read profitably if we want a more nuanced and sensible conversation about the nature of Islam and politics in our contemporary world."—Sajjad Rizvi, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
"Mirror for the Muslim Prince provides a fresh look at Islamic political thought. This volume brings together the work of eminent scholars on diverse debates in the Muslim world on the meaning of political authority and the values that ought to inform it. A welcome addition to the scholarship on Islamic studies."—Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
"Boroujerdi has gathered the leading scholars of our field to comment on a most important aspect of Islamic political thought which has hitherto been neglected. Anyone interested in Islam and government across the ages should read this book."—Roy Mottahedeh, Gurney Professor of History, Harvard University
"A timely work, designed to show the great diversity in Muslim thinking about the political arena and good governance."—Journal of Islamic Studies
"This timely edited volume aims at broadening our understanding of the debates, disagreements, and questions pertaining to the problem of Islam and governance."—Journal of the American Oriental Society
"An exemplary edited collection. Nearly every chapter is superb, and the collection as a whole is even better….These contributors show that Persian political thought was not the foreign agent dooming Islam to decline that scholars, Islamists, and Salafists would have people believe. Highly recommended."—Choice
"A valuable contribution to the study of Muslim political thought, past and contemporary."—Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies
In this volume, a group of distinguished scholars reinterpret concepts and canons of Islamic thought in Arab, Persian, South Asian, and Turkish traditions. They demonstrate that there is no unitary “Islamic” position on important issues of statecraft and governance. They recognize that Islam is a discursive site marked by silences, agreements, and animated controversies. Rigorous debates and profound disagreements among Muslim theologians, philosophers, and literati have taken place over such questions as: What is an Islamic state? Was the state ever viewed as an independent political institution in the Islamic tradition of political thought? Is it possible that a religion that places an inordinate emphasis upon the importance of good deeds does not indeed have a vigorous notion of “public interest” or a systematic theory of government? Does Islam provide an edifice, a common idiom, and an ideological mooring for premodern and modern Muslim rulers alike? The nuanced reading of the Islamic traditions provided in this book will help future generations of Muslims contemplate a more humane style of statecraft.
Mehrzad Boroujerdi is Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School and Director of the Middle East Studies Program. He is the series editor for the Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East series. In addition to more than thirty journal articles and book chapters in English and Persian, he is the author of I Carved, Worshipped and Shattered: Essays on Iranian Identity and Politics (Tehran, 2010) and Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism (Syracuse University Press, 1996). He is the President-elect of the International Society for Iranian Studies.
6 x 9, 488 pages