From power to the spaces of the ethical

SLAVICA JAKELIĆ

Religious and secular identities and reasons constitute much of the ethical motivations for activists’ political practices. These categories are often sources of deep difference but they also point toward the transformation that only differences can bring—the transformation that can sustain, rather than eliminate, deep religious-secular pluralism. Focusing solely on the dynamics of power obscures our capacity to describe and theorize this normative work. Read the full article »

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Young women model MLine apparel, fashion for Muslim women

Turkish Muslimism: A New Islamic Engagement with Modernity

GARRETT FITZGERALD

The engagement between modernity and religion is often presented through the use of binaries: secular and religious, public and private, liberalism and fundamentalism. But in a new volume, Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond, Turkish sociologist of religion Neslihan Cevik explores forms of religious engagement with modernity that resist these crude divisions, pointing instead to the possibility of a hybridity that blurs the lines between categories often viewed as diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. Read the full article »

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Five Observations on Muslimism

SLAVICA JAKELIĆ

Cevik is rightly careful about the future developments of Muslimism, as they depend on various factors (political, economic, religious). On my reading, this cautious approach also ought to be taken with any comparisons between Muslimists and, say, Pentecostals in Latin America or US Evangelicals. Any comparative work in this area needs to be alert to the possible simplifications and repetitions of the old subtraction narratives about the ultimate victory of the secularizing impetus in modernity. Read the full article »

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Further Reflections on Muslimism

NESLIHAN CEVIK

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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St. Hedwig’s or St. Casimir’s and why the difference matters

HEATHER DUBOIS

Just as the identification ‘religious’ says only little in itself, there’s no such thing as the secular person. The Asadians are correct that these words come to life – have salience – in mutual tension. Like other identity categories, ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ are defined through historical use. The fact that someone is religious may seem unimportant to that person. Perhaps what matters in time x, place y is membership in St. Hedwig’s Polish Catholic Parish versus St. Casimir’s, a church equally Polish and Catholic. Read the full article »

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