Nothing New Under the Sun
An Introduction to Islam
Islam draws more attention to itself with each passing day, but surprisingly few people know much about it, even in government, the media, education, and the Church. Nothing New Under the Sun is an accessible, up-to-date study of Islam’s past and present, with an acute analysis of its core logic and what that logic might mean for the future. Islam is a religion not just of scripture and tradition but also of community consensus, and it is not comprehensible without an examination of how that consensus is formed and the direction it is likely to take. Islam’s relationship to the West must also be understood in light of the contemporary Western religious climate - specifically the American one - which is failing badly as an alternative to the Islamist model. Nothing New Under the Sun draws on the author’s experience among Muslims in the US and abroad, while discussing key topics such as the rift between Sunnis and Shi’ites, the significance of jihad, Sufi mysticism, the roots and development of political Islam, women’s issues, and the Muslim view of the end of the world. Readers new to Islam will gain basic familiarity with it and become acquainted with more advanced topics, while those more familiar with Islam may benefit from a unique analysis of Islam’s essential character and its place in the contemporary world.
About the Author
Paul Culp is a graduate of Oxford University--where he read theology and Islamic studies at Keble College and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies--Samford University, and Jacksonville State University. He has taught academic writing at Birzeit University in Palestine, worked as an editor and consultant for two pro-democracy research organizations in the West Bank, and taught language arts in a Muslim high school in the U.S., thereby attaining a level of access not normally available to the non-Muslim. A former media consultant as well, he now teaches journalism and social sciences in a boys’ boarding school, and is the author of a satirical novel, Social Justice, published in 2002.