Abdellatif al-Hormasi's Society, Islam and Reformist Elites in Tunisia and Algeria: A Comparative Study from the Perspective of Historical Sociology (480 p.p.), newly published by the ACRPS, is an effort to clarify the relationship of religious elites to reform endeavors. This is an issue deserving of study for those who want to really understand the relationship between Islam and modernity and the effects of the latter's penetration of a civilization and societies that long lived according to a sacred idea which they erected and then made into a lens for seeing the universe and managing their affairs. The collision with modernity has shaken this idea's foundations and many of its established truths, and forced it to ask some painful questions.
The book studies reformist Islamist tendencies and elites as the main expression, during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, of the various aspects of the meeting between Islamic heritage and modernity with all of its attractions and anxieties – not least those relating to its arrival via colonial force on the barrel of a gun.
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