This study, done within the comprehensive Weberian framework, focuses on religion and social change in Bangladesh through an imaginative use of qualitative as well as quantitative methods of modern social research.
It first provides a sociological interpretation of the origin and development of Islam in Bengal using historical and literary works on Bengal. The main contribution is based on two sample surveys conducted by Mrs. Banu in 20 villages of Bangladesh and in three areas in the metropolitan Dhaka city. Using these survey data, she gives a sociological analysis of Islamic religious beliefs and practices in contemporary Bangladesh, and more importantly, she studies the impact of the Islamic religious beliefs on the socio- economic development and political culture in present-day Bangladesh. She also shows how Islam compares with modern education in social 'transforming capacity'.
This careful and rigorous work is a notable contribution to sociology of religion and helps to deepen our understanding of the interactions between religious and social changes common to many parts of the Third World.
U.A.B. Razia Akter Banu, Ph.D., London University, is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Dhaka.
List of Tables Preface I Social Anomalies, a Prophetic Break and the Growth of Islam in Bengal (from AD 1201 to 1757) II Changes in Islam in Bengal Area during the British and post-British Periods III Religious Beliefs in Bangladesh Islam IV Social bases of Islamic Religious Beliefs V Islamic Religious Practice in Bangladesh and its Social Bases VI Islam and Muslim-Hindu Relations in Bangladesh VII Islam and Socio-economic Development in Bangladesh VIII Islam and Women in Bangladesh IX Islam and Political Culture in Bangladesh X Conclusion Bibliography Index
(post)graduates and scholars of sociology of religion, especially Islam.