Synopses & Reviews
This book provokes a debate between social theory and Islamic studies. Drawing on theories of successive modernities, sociology of religion, and poststructuralist approaches to modern subjectivity formation, it introduces a novel analytical framework to the study of Middle Eastern societies. The authors explore ways in which Muslims have constructed meaningful modern selfhoods, providing their reader with unique insights into the ongoing social transformation of the Middle East. Making Islamic charities and youth organizations their primary site of investigation, they combine studies on Islamic reform with case studies on social activism in Egypt and Jordan. In criticizing theses about the alleged uniqueness of Western modernity, the book challenges exclusivist assumptions about both Western modernity and contemporary Islamic ways of life. In this way, it makes original contributions to conceptual discussions on modernity and our knowledge of modern Muslim societies.
About the Author
Dietrich Jung is a Professor and Head of Department at the Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark. His recent publications include Religion, Politics, and Turkey's EU Accession (ed. with Catharina Raudvere, 2008) and Orientalists, Islamists and the Global Public Sphere: A Genealogy of the Modern Essentialist Image of Islam (2011).
Marie Juul Petersen is Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights. She holds a PhD from the Institute for Regional and Cross-Cultural Studies at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her research interests include Islam, international organizations, human rights, development, and humanitarian aid. Her most recent book is For Humanity or for the Umma? Aid and Islam in International Muslim NGOs (2014).
Sara Cathrine Lei Sparre holds a PhD from University of Copenhagen, Demark. Her research interests include subjectivity formation, Islam and civil society, state, gender, and higher education. She has previously worked at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS).
Table of Contents
PART I: THEORETICAL AND ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK: UNDERSTANDING CONTEMPORARY ISLAM WITH THE HELP OF SOCIAL THEORY
1. Modernity, Successive Modernities, and the Formation of the Modern Subject
2. Modern Religion, Religious Organizations and Religious Social Action
3. Islamic Reform and the Construction of Modern Muslim Subjectivities
PART II: POLITICS OF MUSLIM SUBJECTIVITIES IN JORDAN
4. State and Islam in Jordan: The Contested Islamic Modern
5. Charity and Social Welfare Organizations in Jordan: Negotiating the Islamic Modern
6. Charity and Modern Forms of Muslim Subjectivities in Jordan
PART III: POLITICS OF MUSLIM SUBJECTIVITIES IN EGYPT
7. State and Islam in Egypt: Secular Authority Versus Islamic Modernities
8. New Youth Organizations in Egypt: Charity and the 'Muslim Professional'
9. Leaders, Organizers and Volunteers: Encountering Idiosyncratic Forms of Subjectivities