A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim Societies Around the World

Kobo ebook | April 26, 2011

byYoussef Courbage, Emmanuel Todd, George Holoch

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We are told that Western/Christian and Muslim/Arab civilizations are on the verge of destroying each other. The demographics of one group remain sluggish, while the population of the other has exploded, widening the cultural gap and all but guaranteeing the outbreak of war. Leaving aside the media's sound and fury on this subject, measured analysis shows another reality taking shape: rapprochement between these two civilizations, benefitting from a universal movement guiding humanity since the Enlightenment.

This book's historical and geographical sweep discredits the notion of a specific Islamic demography. The range of fertility among Muslim women, for example, is as varied as the religious behavior among Muslims in general. Whether agnostics, fundamentalist Salafis, or al-Qaeda activists, Muslims are a diverse group that proves the immutability and individuality of Islam. Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd consider different degrees of literacy, patriarchy, and defensive reactions among minority Muslim groups across the world, underscoring the massive secularization movement spreading throughout Arab and Muslim populations. In this regard, they argue, there is very little to distinguish the evolution of Islam from the history of Christianity, with the Muslim world now entering into a global modernity. Sensitive to demographic variables and their reflection of personal and social truths, Courbage and Todd effectively upend a dangerous meme, in which a fractured world is believed to be close to crisis because of an epidemic of closed cultures and men made different by religion.

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We are told that Western/Christian and Muslim/Arab civilizations are on the verge of destroying each other. The demographics of one group remain sluggish, while the population of the other has exploded, widening the cultural gap and all but guaranteeing the outbreak of war. Leaving aside the media's sound and fury on this subject, meas...

Youssef Courbage is research director at the French National Institute for Demographic Studies. His research concerns Arab and Muslim countries, Asia and Eastern Europe, and interactions among demography and politics. He has studied economics, sociology, demography, and urban planning at Lebanese and French universities.Emmanuel Todd ...
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:April 26, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231527462

ISBN - 13:9780231527460

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Introduction: Clash of Civilizations or Universal History
1. The Muslim Countries in the Movement of History
2. Crises of Transition
3. The Arab Family and the Transition Crisis
4. Other Muslim Women: East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
5. At the Heart of Islam: The Arab World
6. The Non-Arab Greater Middle East
7. After Communism
8. Matrilocal Asia
9. Sub-Saharan Africa
Conclusion
Appendix
Notes

Editorial Reviews

Written with clarity and élan.