Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic Literature

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Syracuse University Press, Jul 21, 2008 - Religion - 272 pages
Although apocalyptic visions and predictions have long been part of classical and contemporary Islam, this book is the first scholarly work to cover this disparate but influential body of writing. David Cook puts the literature in context by examining not only the ideological concerns prompting apocalyptic material but its interconnection with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Arab relations with the United States and other Western nations, and the role of violence in the Middle East. Cook suggests that Islam began as an apocalyptic movement and has retained a strong apocalyptic and messianic trend. One of his most striking discoveries is the influence of non-Islamic sources on contemporary Muslim apocalyptic beliefs. He trenchantly discusses the influence of non-Islamic sources on contemporary Muslim apocalyptic writing, tracing anti-Semitic strains in Islamist thought in part to Western texts and traditions. Through a meticulous reading of current documents, incorporating everything from exegesis of holy texts to supernatural phenomena, Cook shows how radical Muslims, including members of al-Qa'ida, may have applied these ideas to their own agendas. By exposing the undergrowth of popular beliefs contributing to religion-driven terrorism, this book casts new light on today's political conflicts.
 

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Contents

Classical Muslim Apocalyptic Literature
1
Building a New Vision of the Future
2
in the Wake of the Six Days War
13
Interpretations of the Present
59
The Controversy about Dating the End of the World
84
48From Banu Israil to the State of Israel
98
The Mahdi and World Conquest
126
Prophecies of America the Second Ad and Its Downfall
150
Apocalyptic Predictions Concerning Afghanistan and the Taliban
172
The Figure of the Antichrist
184
Problems with the Texts and How They Are Overcome
201
Conclusions
214
Works Cited
237
Index
257
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About the author (2008)

David Cook is associate professor of religious studies at Rice University. He is the author of Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic, Understanding Jihad, and Martyrdom in Islam.

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