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Sociologies of Islam

Authors
  • Kurzman, Charles
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Jul 30, 2019
Volume
45
Pages
265–277
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-073018-022641
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
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Abstract

The sociology of Islam arguably emerged in the fourteenth century with the work of Ibn Khaldun, but the term itself appeared first in 1931. In recent years, the field has expanded to encompass the study of all aspects of the social lives of the world's Muslims, who constitute one-fifth of the global population—hence the plural label, sociologies of Islam. This article reviews four central debates in the field: approaches to Muslim modernities, challenging Orientalist images of Islam as enduringly premodern; tensions between national and global Islamic identities and institutions; activism around Muslim women's rights, both by women and by state-building men; and proliferating challenges to Muslim authorities. As the field confronts political pressures and barriers to scholarly travel, the way forward may involve collaborations that extend training opportunities and comparative research across national and regional borders.

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