Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Messianism and Sociopolitical Revolution in Islam
The project constitutes the second and final part of my two-volume study of revolution in world history that I have been engaged in in the past two decades. The companion study, Revolution in the Pre-Modern World, is a comparative and historical sociology of revolution in press by the University of Chicago Press. It departs from the approach that is typical of the current sociology of revolution by shifting the focus of analysis from the causes of revolution to its consequences. It also offers a typology of revolutions in the pre-modern world. The present project can be considered complementary in that it deals with a different aspect of revolutions, focusing on the motivation of revolutionary action. Furthermore, its comparisons are limited to cases of revolution in the Islamicate civilization. The project will add much historical depth to our understanding of the pattern of motivation to revolutionary action in current Islamic movements. Contemporary transformations of millennialism and to reactions and contrary trends it generates will appear in a new light from a distinctive civilizational perspective.