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Islam in the Public Sphere

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
249O
CCN
71837
Times
Tu 12-2P
Location
706 BARROWS
Course Description

“Islam in the public sphere”. A consequence of secularization (Turkey), or of becoming a minority in a non Muslim environment is that Islam tends to be experienced as a “faith community” and not as an all-encompassing cultural system. The agenda is less to change the society than to allow its members to live and behave as “pure believers” in a secular environment, including in countries where the public sphere is heavily religious (USA). The debate on moral norms and values is slowly superseding the debate on economy and political institutions. How to reconciliate social and religious norms? How to think about sharia in countries where states cannot implement it, whatever the reasons? On the other hand, how to conceive of a “public sphere” where sharia is compulsory? How to reconcile religion and democracy? Are these new “faith communities” on the way to institutionalization or are we confronted with a split between two different spaces? Such issues are of course more intensely debated in countries where practicing Muslims are a minority, but the debate on Islam in the public sphere is also spreading into countries where it is a state religion (Malaysia, but also Iran).