Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th the topic of Islam's political, cultural, religious and spiritual tendencies and beliefs has been thrust into the spotlight. However, most discussions concerning Islam's relation to the West tend to simplify and distory the intricate nature of the issue. The essays here approach the interactions of Islam, the West and modernity through overlapping social, historical, economic, cultural and philosophical layers. Viewed through this complex prism of analysis, the full dimensions of the relationship become clear and the result is a deeper understanding of the nature of modernity and how societies can relate to each other.
Michael Thompson is the founder and editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture and is assistant professor of political science at William Paterson University in New Jersey.