ReviewsAaron W. Hughes emerges as a critic and corrector, alerting scholars of Islam and Judaism to how these two religions should be critically, philologically and historically seen alongside each other…being critical and analytical, Hughes suggests, leads us to be inclusive of other peoples and ideas. Signifying that nothing is “marginal” and that there is no “the other”, this monograph dismantles the “us” versus “them” that structures the field.
Majid Daneshgar, author of Studying the Qur'an in the Muslim Academy
Theoretically and methodologically provoking, this book invites us to reflect critically on the lines that separate and connect Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies. Hughes’ critique is directed to both the researchers and institutions: given the ideological and political currents that have fraught these fields from the very beginning, where do we locate ourselves? Does our work contribute to problematizing these currents, cementing them, or dismantling them? Conceived as a compilation of delivered lectures and essays, the book prompts us to question everything we write – a privileged position that we must not take lightly as we endeavour to expand, revitalize, and in the current climate even defend, the role of research in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Professor Amila Buturović, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Canada
The academic study of Islam and of Judaism have a long, intertwined past. Some of the great early scholars of Islam were Jews and the overlapping nature of these religious traditions has been duly noted for centuries. In this engaging book, Somewhere Between Islam and Judaism: Critical Reflections, Aaron Hughes, who is one of the few scholars who contributes prolifically to both fields, offers personal and scholarly reflections on the nature of both disciplines within in the broader context of the study of religion. Hughes notes that in today’s contested political climate and scholarly biases of the western academy, it is often forgotten what these two religious traditions share and how they differ. The book is not about Islam and Judaism per se but rather the “various genealogies, lenses, terms, and narratives that scholars use to bring Islam and Judaism into what they believe to be sharper focus.” A significant contribution to the critical study of religion.
Shaul Magid, Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College