Further Reflections on Muslimism

What Muslimists achieve is a conservative transformation of the concept of umma as something that has acquired throughout the ages an authoritarian style and conceptualization. It is not a rejection of umma or communal experience per se, but it is the demand that community, as an external source of power, is not the main agent of morality. For example, many Islamists see the hijab as a making symbol of Muslim community, a symbol that creates the Muslim community in its differentiation from others. Read the full article »

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The Battle for Meaning: Christians and Muslims at Odds over Indonesian Constitutionalism

The abortion debate in Indonesia is a fitting illustration of the global trend toward liberalization of access to abortion across the world. In Indonesia, this phenomenon cannot be separated from the constitutional reform that took place more than a decade ago. This phenomenon immediately raises a question of how Muslims and Christians will respond to the new notion of constitutionalism. Read the full article »

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Introducing ACI Africa

In its broad conception the Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) Research project is about Africa’s complex modernities. Modernity is not one thing (see, for example, Eisentadt’s multiple modernities thesis). African individuals and communities find themselves at the intersection of multiple modern, global, local, traditional, secular and religious forces. Read the full article »

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Introducing ACI Indonesia

After a careful process of selecting the core research team, the Contending Modernities Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) working group on Indonesia formally launched last year to begin a three-year research project to better understand the complex issues facing plural societies and to foster possible collaborations among various actors, religious and secular, at different levels: local and global, individuals and communities. Read the full article »

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Catholics, Muslims and Secularists in Quebec: Citizenships in Tension in the Aftermath of the Quiet Revolution

The proposed bill on a Charter of Quebec Values, introduced in 2013, generated great tensions, sparking criticism of the Government of Quebec, and igniting public debate on religion, public ethics, and citizenship. However, the proposed bill also served to broaden citizen participation and acted as a catalyst for mobilization and networking across religious associations and institutions. Read the full article »

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The Un-Dutchable Challenge of Pluralism

In recent years pluralist co-existence has been pushed to the center of political and social discussion in the Netherlands, as once “received” understandings of integration, including various models of multiculturalism, are called into question. For Dutch society, otherwise known for its pragmatism and tolerance, the path forward to a more effective pluralist co-existence remains uncertain. Read the full article »

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Islam, Catholicism and Modernity: Evangelii Gaudium and Muslim-Christian Dialogue

Christian-Muslim relations have followed a sinuous path throughout the centuries. At times they have provided reason for hope, and at others they have encountered stumbling blocks in the path to mutual understanding. The Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is presented on both sides as a new step in the history of Christian-Muslim understanding. Read the full article »

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A New Beginning

Evangelii Gaudium goes beyond providing an introduction to interreligious dialogue from the perspective of the new “Poverello” of Rome, Pope Francis. It is, and I feel sure of this, an emphatic proposal for interreligious dialogue to be reframed as a duty for religious communities, and an essential condition to the establishment and maintenance of peace in the world. Read the full article »

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