For more than four decades, Bruce Lawrence’s multivalent and fulsomely prolific scholarship has influenced and imprinted the Western study of Islam and Religious Studies more broadly in singularly profound ways. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam Beyond Borders (Duke UP, 2021) edited and executed by Ali Altaf Mian brings together major texts and fragments from Lawrence’s intellectual oeuvre in a manner at once eminently accessible and pedagogically fertile. The Reader also includes a brilliant and extensive introduction by Ali Mian that presents a useful conceptual framing for approaching and benefiting from Bruce Lawrence’s intimidatingly diverse scholarship that ranges from medieval Muslim views on Hindu thought and practice, South Asian Sufism, modern fundamentalism, the Qur’an, and Islamicate art and aesthetics. A moving and intellectually enriching interview between Mian and Lawrence that explores the theoretical underpinnings and political manifesto of Lawrence’s illustrious career, and an equally moving and productive Afterword by historian Yasmin Saikia caps this treasure trove of a volume. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader is sure to delight, captivate, and intellectually nourish scholars of Islam, religion, and indeed non-academics. It will also make a tremendous text to teach in various undergraduate and graduate courses.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at email@example.com. Listener feedback is most welcome.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia.