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Religious Authority in Islam (2/3)

A259
Panel Chair: Patrick Franke | Tuesday, August 25, 1:30-3 p.m. | Venue

Continuing earlier efforts to explore the phenomenon of religious authority in Islam, the panel brings together a number of papers elucidating this phenomenon from two different perspectives. Whereas some of them are based on social research and try to understand the phenomenon through direct observation in a given milieu, others based on textual evidence aim to trace historical developments and societal debates revolving about religious authority in specific contexts. All of them have the common goal to refine and revise the terminology for the description of social processes related to religious authority within the world of Islamic norms and symbols. For activating such a process of refinement and revision of terminology, it is necessary to bring the theoretical languages of the social studies and the categorizations of the social milieus studied into relation with each other. It is this purpose which we are pursuing in our panel.

Rüdiger Braun

The authority of the text regarding decanonisation – Contemporary Muslim approaches to religious difference and human dignity between literalism and historical criticism

The authority of the Qur’an has never been disputed within the context of Muslim scholarship. However, there have always been quite different views as to how its authority should be understood with respect to its hermeneutic implications. Recent Muslim readings of the Qur’an in response to the challenges of modern secularity that take into account the various paradigms for interpretation imply a decanonisation, which impacts the understanding of the qur’anic authority in the Muslim canon of scholarship. With a focus on Muslim (self)-critical reflections on religious differences and exegetical eclecticism, this contribution examines the strategies of hermeneutic discourse that are used for religious authentification of secular themes, such as human dignity in speaking of humanity and humanisation with respect to the Qur’an. Particularly enlightening for this analysis are reflections on the intertextuality of anthropologic discourse in the Qur’an in selected works of contemporary Muslim theologians in Turkey and the Arab World.

Johannes Rosenbaum

Going private – Propagating Islamic Ethics in Advice Manuals

What is the medium of the contemporary ‘Alim? Is it the fatwa, the sermon on the pulpit, the scholarly treatise? One as yet little studied genre is that of Islamic advice manuals which target lay Muslims and are concerned with improving everyday morals. This talk presents South Asian examples of the genre and discusses the aims they pursue, the rhetorical strategies they employ and the specifics of the genre.

Gritt Klinkhammer

Production and Negotiation of Islamic Authority within the Salafi Movement

The lecture will present selected data from a fieldwork study amongst adherents of the Salafi Movement in Germany, which is based on participatory observation and interviews and their public media presentations. The study was carried out in order to analyze their idea of Islamic authority. For understanding the dynamics and development of the movement it is important not only to focus on what kind of space they are opening, and what kind of inner dynamics of community building they foster in Germany, but especially on the boundaries they produce by claiming and practicing their ideas of Islamic authority within the Islamic communities as well as within mainstream society.

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Panels:

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Sessions

Open Sessions

Thematic Outline

University Map (pdf, 192 KB)