Cook honored for book on Islamic thought

Michael Cook, Princeton's Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies, has been awarded a Farabi International Award by Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology for his book "Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought."

Cook received the award, which recognizes achievement in the humanities, at a ceremony in Tehran in January.

In "Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought," published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press, Cook presents a wide-ranging exploration of Islamic ethics, covering the relevant doctrinal developments over the centuries and their significance in Sunni and Shi'ite thought today. A Persian translation of the 700-page book was published in 2005 and has generated wide interest in Iran, where it has sold more copies than its English original and is now in its third printing. The book also has been translated into Arabic and Indonesian.

Cook, who joined the Princeton faculty in 1986, is widely considered among the leading Islamicists in America and has made major contributions to the intellectual history of the Muslim Middle East from the advent of Islam through the 21st century. His works on Muhammad, early Islamic theology and the Ottoman population have become classics.