1st Edition

Secularism and Islam in Bangladesh 50 Years After Independence

By Abdul Wohab Copyright 2024
    122 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Secularism and Islam in Bangladesh comprehensively analyses the syncretistic form of Bengali Islam and its relationship with secularism in Bangladesh from pre-British to contemporary times. It focuses on the importance of understanding the dynamics between religion and secularism within specific cultural contexts.

    The author draws upon historical, sociological, and political literature, Bangladeshi electoral results, newspaper reports, and elite interviews with political commentators and offers a rich historical and empirical analysis. Arguing that extremist interpretations of Islam, which aim to establish a theocratic state, have not been able to influence the pluralistic religious and cultural life of Bangladesh substantially, the book shows that religious and cultural pluralism will continue to thrive despite the apparent threat posed by increasing religiosity among Bangladeshi Muslims.

    This book is a timely and significant contribution to the discourse on secularism and Islam, with relevance beyond Bangladesh and the wider Islamic world. It will appeal to scholars and researchers working in the fields of South Asian studies, Asian religions, and the sociology of religion.

    Chapter 1: Secularism and Islam in Bangladesh; Chapter 2: Revisiting Worldviews on Secularism and Religiosity: West and Beyond; Chapter 3: Secularism in a Historical Form: Syncretistic Islam in Medieval to the 19th century Bengal; Chapter 4: Transformation of Secularism: 20th and 21st century Bangladesh; Chapter 5: Islam and Secularism? The Role of State, Religion and Political Parties in Bangladesh; Chapter 6: Future of Secularism: Bangladesh and Beyond; Chapter 7: Conclusion; Appendix; Index; References


    Abdul Wohab is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Department of Political Science and Sociology (PSS), North South University (NSU), Dhaka, Bangladesh.