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Islamic Tradition and Meanings of Modernity
2015 (English)In: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, ISSN 2213-0624, Vol. 3, no 1, 29-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

The debate about the compatibility of modernity and (the) Islamic tradition is, at this point, centuries old. This article analyzes some of its most recent expressions. The guiding question here is one about the meaning(s) of modernity and its impact on our general understanding of this particular religious tradition. We are often led to believe that this tradition is uniquely ill-equipped to absorb or make use of modernity’s conceptual repertoire and its supposed liberating power. It therefore follows that the proponents of Islam and of liberalism are at odds with each other, primarily due to the assumption that they occupy different paradigms of understanding, knowledge, and even of hopes and aspirations. This article seeks to identify some elements of this, arguably erroneous, presumption by presenting an overview of several oft-repeated arguments related to modernity and Islamic ethics. Modernity, as it relates to shifting public conceptions of freedom in Muslim-majority societies, has proven to have tremendous mobilizing power. Social actors continuously contest such ideas as freedom, religion, and related issues in the realm of civil society. One such discursive shift underway is the ‘Arab Spring’, arguably one of the strongest indicators of the ongoing process of modernity within Arab societies on multiple levels – a process that is deeply unsettling and entirely open-ended in terms of cultural and socio-political outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 3, no 1, 29-57 p.
Keyword [en]
modernity; alternative modernities; religious revival; Muslim ethics; Islamic tradition; General Works
National Category
Philosophy History of Religions History of Ideas
Research subject
History; Philosophy; Philosophy of Religion; History of Religions
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-297416OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-297416DiVA: diva2:941789
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-22 Last updated: 2016-06-22

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