Islamic myths and collective memory are very much alive in today’s localized struggles for identity, and are deployed in the ongoing construction of worldwide cultural networks. This book brings the theoretical perspectives of myth-making and collective memory to the study of Islam and globalization and to the study of the place of the mass media in the contemporary Islamic resurgence. It explores the annulment of spatial and temporal distance by globalization and by the communications revolution underlying it, and how this has affected the cherished myths and memories of the Muslim community. It shows how contemporary Islamic thinkers and movements respond to the challenges of globalization by preserving, reviving, reshaping, or transforming myths and memories.
Itzchak Weismann is professor of Islamic Studies at Haifa University, Israel. He works on Islamic movements, Sufism, the preaching of Islam, modern Syria, and Islam in the Indian subcontinent. His books include The Naqshbandiyya: Orthodoxy and Activism in a Worldwide Sufi Tradition (2007) and Taste of Modernity: Sufism, Salafiyya, and Arabism in Late Ottoman Damascus (2001).
Mark Sedgwick is professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark, and previously taught for many years at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He works primarily on Sufism, Islam and modernity, Islam in Europe, and terrorism. His books include Muhammad Abduh: A Biography (2009), Saints and Sons: The Making and Remaking of the Rashidi Ahmadi Sufi Order, 1799-2000 (2005), and Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century (2004).
Ulrika Mårtensson teaches Religious Studies at NTNU, Norway, and previously spent a year at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in the program on Modernity and Islam. Her main work focuses on relations between institutions and Islam in medieval and contemporary contexts. Her recent works include Tabari (2009, in the series Makers of Islamic Civilization), and she has recently co-edited Fundamentalism in the Modern World (2 volumes, I.B. Tauris 2011) and a special issue of the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, ’Challenging Culturalism: ’Materialist’ Approaches to Islamic History’ (2011).
’Myths and collective memories that transcend specific places and historical contexts have powerful and often unpredictable impacts on Muslim societies and communities worldwide, especially in an era of rapid circulation of words and images. The lively style and accessibility of this book make it ideal for a wide range of audiences.’ Dale F. Eickelman, Dartmouth College, USA, co-author of Muslim Politics