The aim of this endeavour is to create a comprehensive bibliographical resource of modern scholarship on Muslim civilisations, covering subjects in humanities and social sciences. Abstracts of these works are translated and searchable in multiple languages, maximising accessibility to, and cross-fertilisation of knowledge about Muslim cultures.
Every year the MCA project engages in a new theme. Whilst the previously selected themes remain open to further contributions, contributors are encouraged to recommend titles related to the subsidised theme.
The first phase (2006-08) comprehends a substantial database of abstracts on modern encyclopædias about the Muslim world, with an annotated bibliography. From 2009 onwards the project has focused on books published exclusively in the Muslim world (to include India and Russia). The second phase (2009-11) covers publications on Interpretations of Law and Ethics in Muslim Contexts, and the third phase was devoted to Cities: Two Centuries of Scholarship from Muslim Contexts (i.e. architecture, urban infrastructure, urban social life and culture).
The current MCA theme focuses on Governance in Muslim Contexts. The following subjects, although not comprehensive fall into the project’s interpretation of Governance:
- Governmental policies
- National or local constitutions
- Policy making organisations
- State bureaucracy and administration
Since 2014 the MCA has been considering themes relevant to the topic of Gender. Through Gender the MCA project covers publications devoted to gender identity and gendered representation. It includes issues concerning women, men, feminism, femininity, masculinity, and LGBT and analyses the political, social and cultural positions on these groups and theories.
The project will soon be embarking on the theme of education. This will be announced in the course of next year (2015).
Later phases of the project will in turn cover the main fields of the humanities and social sciences: theology, literature, the arts, geography, anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, etc.
The abstracts are commissioned to impartial scholars of various ethnic and religious background and can be written in eight languages: Arabic, English, French, Indonesian/Malay, Persian, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.