Saturday, June 21, 2008

Article: "Islam in the age of postmodernity"

by Akbar S. Ahmed and Hastings Donnan in Ahmed and Donnan (eds) Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity (1994)

This is the first article in a book written by the editors of that book. It gives a brief overview of what affects globalization has had on Islam (from a 1994) perspective and gives brief summaries of the other articles in the book.

One of the founding premises of the book is that Said's criticism of Orientalist bias has been locked on to by scholars which has resulted in ppl constantly going back to it to criticize others--"stultifying" the study of islam. Their answer to contextualize "local versions of islam within global structures" (5) --(said's main criticism is that "orientalists" overgeneralize the "orient", see edward said 1978 p. 108)

couple other pts
1) some authors have said islam explicitly encourages travel (p5)
2) islam has spread globally thru new media, transportation, diasporas, global scholar class, pan-islamic world muslim league, Islamic conferences
3) this new world has led to quest for identity not only for muslims living in new places but for those in old places that have changed (p6). "The outside wrld now reaches into even the most guarded muslim home, most obviously thru television and the vcr" (p17) and also ppl who travel abroad and return (p6)
4) global politics "tends to polarize tensions btwn muslims and nonmuslims" (p7)
5) global media is looked at and therefore given different meaning by diff ppl (p8)
6) wider nat'l, global cultural and political forces change popular culture (islam changing in turkey, shia in carribean, etc.) (15)
7) pomo view can help us look at hybridity, and to reveal religious dimensions in "secular" education (p16)

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