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Modern Emergence and Islamic Reform

(Dietrich Jung, University of Southern Denmark)

In the second part of the 19th century, Islamic reformers tried to reconcile modern culture with Islamic traditions against the poles of traditionalist rejections and secularist affirmations of modern ideas and institutions. They succeeded in establishing a discourse that predominantly links the authenticity of modern Muslim culture to Islamic traditions and a religiously defined past. In taking its inspiration from theories of emergence, this subproject is developing first a conceptual framework of modernity that allows thinking modernity as both global social unity and the diversity of multiple modernities. In a second step it is analyzing the works of a number of key figures in the historical evolution of the discourse on Islamic modernities. This part seeks to trace the evolution of this hegemonic concept of Islamic authenticity in the broader context of modern emergence. More precisely, it investigates combinations of Islamic traditions with global templates of modernity in the definition of being modern Muslims. Theoretically following Michel Foucault, the hypothesis of this subproject suggests to understand the evolution of competing Islamic modernities as a cultural conflict between ideological types employing Islamic traditions either as technologies of domination or as technologies of the self.

Last Updated 08.02.2017