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Second thoughts about the anthropology of Islam, or how to make sense of grand schemes in everyday life

[working paper]

Schielke, Samuli

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Further Details
Corporate Editor Zentrum Moderner Orient
Abstract "A growing body of anthropological research has turned to study Islam as a discursive tradition that informs the attempts of Muslims to live pious and moral lives, the aff ects and emotions they cultivate and the challenges they pose to a liberal secular ideology. While this turn has provided direction for a number of innovative studies, it appears to stop short of some key questions regarding everyday religious and moral practice, notably the ambivalence, the inconsistencies and the openness of people’s lives that never fi t into the framework of a single tradition. In short, there is too much Islam in the anthropology of Islam. To fi nd ways to account for both the ambivalence of people’s everyday lives and the often perfectionist ideals of good life, society and self they articulate, I argue that we may have to talk a little less about traditions, discourses and powers and a little more about the existential and pragmatic sensibilities of living a life in a complex and often troubling world. By broadening our focus to include the concerns, practice and experience of everyday life in its various moments and directions, we may eventually also be better able to make sense of the signifi cance of a grand scheme like Islam in it." [author's abstract]
Keywords Islam; anthropology; secularization; everyday life; Muslim; traditional culture; Islamic society
Classification Sociology of Religion
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
City Berlin
Page/Pages 16 p.
Series ZMO Working Papers, 2
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne