Alternative Islamic Discourses and Religious Authority: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Alternative Islamic Discourses and Religious Authority

1st Edition

Edited by Carool Kersten, Susanne Olsson


220 pages

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Like anywhere else, the present-day Islamic world too is grappling with modernity and postmodernity, secularisation and globalisation. Muslims are raising questions about religious representations and authority. This has given rise to the emergence of alternative Islamic discourses which challenge binary oppositions and dichotomies of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, continuity and change, state and civil society. It also leads to a dispersal of authority, a collapse of existing hierarchical structures and gender roles. This book further argues that the centre of gravity of many of these alternative Islamic discourses is shifting from the Arabic-speaking 'heartland' towards the geographical peripheries of the Muslim world and expatriate Muslims in North America and Europe. At the same time, in view of recent seismic shifts in the political constellation of the Middle East, the trends discussed in this book hold important clues for the possible direction of future developments in that volatile part of the Muslim world.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: alternative Islamic discourses and religious authority, Carool Kersten and Susanne Olsson; Ijtihad and the derivation of new jurisprudence in contemporary Shi’ism: the rulings of Ayatollah Bujnurdi, Liyakat Takim; Judicial and rational challenges of the doctrine of jurist’s rule, Mohammad Fazlhashemi; Muslim perception of Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement: accommodating or hindering modern Turkey?, Zeki Saritoprak; A Turkish Mahdi? Apocalypticism in Harun Yahya’s Da’wah enterprise, Anne Ross Solberg; `Amr Khaled on individual proactivity, Susanne Olsson; Harmonious being: a space for an alternative way of exploring religion, Abdullah Hamidaddin; Islamic post-traditionalism in Indonesia: revisiting tradition and the future of Islam, Carool Kersten; Women’s agency in transforming religious discourse: gender-sensitive interpretations of Islam in Indonesia, Ann Kull; Treading a dangerous path? The use of Islam in women’s rights advocacy, Nida Kirmani; Index.

About the Editors

Carool Kersten is Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World at King's College London and Research Associate at the Centre for South East Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He has also been an affiliate of the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He has held fellowships and received research grants from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), British Academy, European Science Foundation, and Higher Education Academy of the UK (HEA), and the University of London. He is the author of Cosmopolitans and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study of Islam (2011) and co-editor of Demystifying the Caliphate (2012). Susanne Olsson is Associate Professor at Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden, where she is Head of Department for the Study of Religions. She holds a PhD in the History of Religions from Uppsala University, Sweden. She specializes in Islamic Studies and her current research mainly concerns contemporary Islamic ideologies in Egypt and Europe, focusing on questions such as continuity and renewal of Islamic discourses and political aspects of religious interpretations. She is currently also the chair of the Swedish Association for the History of Religions. Her forthcoming book Preaching Islamic Revival: Amr Khaled, Mass Media and Social Change in Egypt will be published by I.B. Tauris in 2013.

About the Series

Contemporary Thought in the Islamic World

Contemporary Thought in the Islamic World promotes new directions in scholarship in the study of Islamic thinking. Muslim scholars of today challenge deeply ingrained dichotomies and binaries. New ideas have stimulated an upcoming generation of progressive Muslim thinkers and scholars of Islam to radically rethink the ways in which immediate and emergent issues affecting the contemporary Islamic world are to be assessed. This series aims to take the field beyond the usual historical-philological and social science-driven approaches, and to insert the study of Islam and the Muslim world into far wider multi-disciplinary inquiries on religion and religiosity in an increasingly interconnected world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies