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Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition
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Table of Contents

1: Introduction Part I: Historical Roots of a Contemporary Debate 2: The Multiple Contexts of Q. 4:34 3: The Ethics of Wife-beating 4: The Legal Boundaries of Marital Discipline Part II: Restoring Authority in the Living Community 5: Asserting Authority, Enriching the Tradition 6: Submissive Texts and Idealized Cosmologies 7: Conclusion

About the Author

Ayesha S. Chaudhry is Assistant Professor of Islamic and Gender Studies in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. Her teaching and research interests include Islamic law, Qur'anic exegesis, and feminist hermeneutics. She is currently working on a collaborative project of inter-faith feminist hermeneutics, which explores and challenges the limits of feminist interpretations of patriarchal religious texts in the three Abrahamic faiths. She is also developing methods for bridging the academic and community divide by translating her research interests into theatre based performance art that might appeal to a wider audience. This project is entitled "Cover Story" and explores the meanings of multiple intersecting political discourses surrounding Muslim women's sartorial choices.

Reviews

[T]his work should be applauded as the first sustained analysis of the phrase 'beat them' in the Sunni exegetical and legal sources from the medieval and modern periods. Chaudhry has exposed the variation in interpretations on this command admirably, and has managed to write a book that is as enjoyable to read as it is interesting. Though it engages with the tradition, this book also represents a theological response to a difficult Qur'anic passage, and is an important contribution to the growing movement of Muslim feminist reinterpretations of the Qu'ran. * Karen Bauer, Journal of Qur'anic Studies *
Chaudhrys book is a welcome and significant contribution to contemporary Muslim debates on gender justice * Farid Esack, Journal of the American Academy of Religion *
Her analysis of postcolonial and contemporary scholarship adds an important dimension to the debate, showing that while religion and religious commands continues to remain relevant to contemporary believers, with a strong desire to remain rooted in the old patriarchal tradition, there are also noteworthy attempts at subverting and/or rejecting the tradition to articulate an Islamic consciousness that is emphatically gender egalitarian. Chaudhry's book is a welcome and significant contribution to contemporary Muslim debates on gender justice, interpretation of religious texts, and the status of the historical Islamic intellectual tradition. * Farid Esack, The Journal of the American Academy of Religion *
Until the twentieth century, Muslim scholars understood hitting as necessary discipline for rebellious wives. Chaudhry's nuanced study of how these scholars approached this question juridically and exegetically leaves the reader with a deeper appreciation for the ways they struggled with the verse, providing a variety of interpretations, including those that sought to reconcile it with the model of the Prophet himself... This work fits beautifully into the ongoing literature of religious feminism, reinforcing some ideas and bringing new conceptualizations that help us think in new ways about the problems religious feminists face in every tradition. * Rebecca Alpert, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion *
This book is a valuable contribution on a controversial topic and it deserves to be read widely. * Muhammad Khan, The Muslim News *
very well researched and presented * Ali Abd al-Malik, The Islamic Quarterly *
A model feminist volume that shows that all religious ideas are subject to analysis, dynamic in their meanings, and are open to change. * Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual *

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