"From formal poetry and the oral tradition of public storytelling to the more contemporary forms of memoir and the novel, many Muslim authors have posed questions about Muslim piety and identity. What does it mean to be a good Muslim? What does Islam require of women and men? How should a good Muslim behave within society? Does Islam promote specific political norms or practices?
The readings for this theme can be seen as literary reflections on questions such as these. Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives. In the works featured here, answers to these questions differ from one reading to the other, as each reflects the society in which it is written. Together they reveal how Muslims living at different times and in different places have interpreted Islamic traditions to meet their distinctive cultural realities and spiritual needs.”
Literary Reflections was developed by Leila Golestaneh Austin, Professorial Lecturer in Global Theory and History and Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she also directs the Cultural Conversations project at the Foreign Policy Institute and co-directs the Global Politics and Religion Initiative.