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Qur'an Liberation & Pluralism by Farid Esack

An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity against Oppression.

Published by Oneworld on 5.December 1996, 280 pages, Price US$ 22.95, UKPounds 14.99, Paperback, ISBN 1-85168-121-3. Distributed by Penguin Books.

This book by a brilliant young Muslim scholar is important for all of us in two ways. First, the most fruitful place of inter-faith dialogue is in the joint facing of urgent human problems. Farid Esack was active - more than once arrested and imprisoned - in the South African struggle against apartheid, in comradeship with Christians, Hindus, Marxists and others; and here he gives an account of the Muslim contribution. Second, significant new religious understanding always comes out of new experiences, and in the liberation struggle in South Africa the Qur'an revealed new aspects of its meaning, leaving behind theological exclusivism in an inter-faith commitment to creating justice on earth. (John Hick, Professor of Theology of Religion, Claremont Graduate School, California)

The demise of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s followed an unprecedented unity in struggle against oppression from members of different faith traditions. Determined as South African Muslims were to participate with the rest of the oppressed in solidarity against apartheid, this brought them into conflict with interpretations of the Qur'an that denied virtue outside Islam, and left them searching for a theology that would allow them to both co-operate against injustice and be true to their faith.

In this account, Farid Esack reflects on key passages from the Qur'an to show that the very texts used to justify religious intolerance, if interpreted within a contemporary socio-historical context, support active solidarity for change.

Combining social history, politics and theology, this book offers scholars, students and all those concerned with Islam in the modern world a fascinating insight into a contemporary issue, against one of the most exciting periods of world history.

Farid Esack is Senior-Lecturer in Religion at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and is an internationally known scholar, speaker and social activist. He is particularly concerned with issues of gender equality, religious pluralism and justice.

On the 7th November 1996 President Mandela announced Esack's appointment to a new Gender Equality commission in South Africa. This important committee, which starts work at the beginning of December, will examine all laws and provide a legal forum where cases may be brought.

If you would like any further Information, please contact:

Mary Millner: Tel/Fax: 0171-720-5077
or Leander Reeves: Tel: 01865-310597 / Fax: 01865-310598
Oneworld Publications
Editorial Office: 185 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7AR, England

Available in Germany at

Book-Dispatch Chadigah M.Kissel
Hans-Boeckler-Allee 15
D 53177 Bonn Bad-Godesberg
Tel/Fax (0228) 330915

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