Sociologia della Religione

islam

Islam in/and/of Europe? Perspectives from the Middle Ages to the Post-Secular Age

8-10 Ottobre 2015 Trento, Italy Scaricare il programma del convegno:       Programma del convegno: THURSDAY 8 OCTOBER  3:30pm Arrival and Registration 4:00pm Institutional Greetings Andrea Carboni (Club Alpbach Trentino) Paolo Collini (Rector, University of Trento) Lejla Demiri (University of Tübingen) Introduction Davide Scotto / Ruggero Vimercati Sanseverino (University…

Sociology of Islam – Reflection, Revision & Reconceptualization

Conference of the Section on Sociology of Religion German Sociological Association (DGS)

in cooperation with

the Center for Religious Studies (CERES), Ruhr-University Bochum

25 – 27 June 2015

Conference Venue: Ruhr-University Bochum

From the 1980s onwards, sociological research has paid increased attention to Islam. While focussing on selected countries from the Middle East in an earlier stage, the interest has gradually shifted to Europe where Muslims have become a rapidly growing minority in many countries due to labour migration. Since then, research on Islam is steadily increasing and generates substantial empirical research results. Parallel, a political and normative discourse about Islam and Muslim immigrants can be observed in many host countries that has been intensified by the events of 9/11 and that extends into the academic realm.

We consider this situation as the starting point for a reflection on the theoretical framework. Initially, a sociology of Islam has to question the traditional foundations of Western humanities and the social sciences, e.g. its inherent orientalisdianm. We want to face this challenge in the planned conference. Beyond the daily political problematisation of Islam, we want to deal with its social foundations and its various forms of social appearance, not only in Europe but also worldwide. The reflection of sociological concepts and theories will take centre stage. Outdated theories that have already been criticized many times, shall be reviewed – whether they are Eurocentric, based on modernisation theory or on a homogenizing cultural understanding, as all of them lead to an asymmetric consideration.

A reflected sociology of Islam also needs to reconstruct everyday life of Muslims from an empirical perspective, while examining social practices, institutions, and knowledge systems. Following Weber’s concept of sociology, a particular approach could be to explore the conduct of life and the social forms of Muslim sociality.

Finally, a global, transnational and historical perspective is analytically indispensable, simply due to migration processes. However, this leads to a series of challenges: On the one hand, it is important to look at mutual and inner entanglements of knowledge, culture and power instead of following the idea of self-contained and homogenous Western or Islamic civilisations. On the other hand, a change of perspectives is intended: scientific observation should not any longer prioritise the focus on the effects of Islam for European societies. It should rather deepen the analysis of Muslim’s particular lifeworlds as well as the social arrangements of negotiation processes in their societies of origin and the host societies (e.g. from a legal standpoint or with regards to normative orders, the public-private relation, gender relations etc.). This includes questions of how the cultural contact changes Muslim life and everyday practices and how this takes place in other world regions, e.g., in Asia. In other words, a global perspective that includes intertwined histories and various paths of transformation is essential.

Against this background, the Section for the Sociology of Religion of the German Sociological Association cordially invites to submit abstracts on the reflection about the sociology of Islam. We equally welcome theoretically and empirically based contributions, which allow further theoretical and methodological reflection.

Contributions on the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • Papers on Muslim everyday reality as well as on the social appearance of Islam in European and non-European contexts (concerning religious identity and institutions as well as faith, everyday practices, and conduct of life)
  • Papers which examine how knowledge systems, cultural codes, and institutions of power are shaped by Muslim actors and how they affect them
  • Papers about the patterns of sociality, solidarity, and civility in the countries of origin and their alteration as a result of migration
  • Papers concerning the sphere of political action, especially questions of political integration, religious education and citizenship

  • Papers on Muslim practice in the public and in legislation; especially about the effects of Islam’s public perception from a perspective of visibility and “public observation”. What does this mean for Muslims, for their everyday life, identity processes, practice of religion, right to privacy, and religious freedom, anti-discrimination, and gender equality?
  • Papers examining Islamic based gender orders, their linkage with power and institutions and their renegotiation in the process of migration as well as the impact of Western gender specific stereotypes and ethnic discrimination

Confirmed keynote speakers: Bryan Turner and Georg Stauth.

Deadline: Please submit abstracts by 30 January 2015 to all organizers. The abstracts should not exceed one page.

Organization:

Christel Gärtner: cgaertner@uni-muenster.de

Levent Tezcan: levent.tezcan@rub.de

Heidemarie Winkel: heidemarie.winkel@mailbox.tu-dresden.de

Conferenza: Imams in Western Europe – Authority, Training, and Institutional Challenges

LUISS Guido Carli University & John Cabot American University
Rome, Italy

The social facts of globalization, transnational migration and the various interpretations of secularism have challenged the visibility of religion in the public sphere in “Western” societies. This has most importantly and urgently required religious authorities to revisit their organization, governance and internal hierarchy, which link believers and their community to God. Islamic religious authority is no exception. All over the Islamic world and Europe, Islamic religious authority is still struggling to negotiate its place among the institutions of the modern state. The imamate is one of the institutions that is experiencing a shift in roles and functions in society amidst these institutions.

Keynote speakers

Olivier Roy (European University Institute, Italy)
Hilary Kalmbach (Sussex University, UK)
Jasser Auda (Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, Qatar)
Jonathan Laurence (Political Science at Boston College, USA)
Marco Ventura (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium)
Stefano Allievi (University of Padova, Italy)

Confirmed speakers

Thijl Sunier (Amsterdam University), Abdullah Sahin (The Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK), Cedric Beyloq (Mundiapolis University, Casablanca, Morocco), Domenico Melidoro (LUISS University, Rome), Mansur Ali (Cardiff University, UK), Egdunas Racius (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania), Evrim Ersan Akkilic (Universität Wien, Austria), Farid El Asri (Louvain University, Belgium), Francesco Alicino (University LUM Jean Monnet University of Bari, Italy), Goran Larsson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Imam Yahya Pallavicini (Italy), Jan Jaap de Ruiter (Tilburg University, Netherlands), Jorgen Nielsen (University of Birmingham, UK), Juan Ferreiro Galguera (Universidade da Coruña, Spain), Khalid Hajji (CEOM, Belgium), Melanie Kamp (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany), Paolo Branca (Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Italy), Redouane Abdellah (Islamic Cultural Center of Rome, Italy), Renata Peppiceli (LUISS university, Italy), Riem Spielhaus (Erlangen Centre for Islam & Law in Europe, Germany), Romain Sèze (Reims University, France), Sara Silvestri (City University London, UK), Stefano Allievi (University of Padova, Italy), Tuomas Martikainen (Åbo Akademi University, Finland), Valentina Gentile (LUISS University, Italy)

Conceptual Framework

The social facts of globalization, transnational migration and the various interpretations of secularism have challenged the visibility of religion in the public sphere in “Western” societies. This has most importantly and urgently required religious authorities to revisit their organization, governance and internal hierarchy, which link believers and their community to God. Islamic religious authority is no exception. All over the Islamic world and Europe, Islamic religious authority is still struggling to negotiate its place among the institutions of the modern state. The imamate is one of the institutions that is experiencing a shift in roles and functions in society amidst these institutions.

The religious affairs of the early Muslim community in Europe after WWII were hardly institutional, and consequently lacked state recognition and its support, as well as professional and trained Imams. Without formal prayer spaces, they were also poorly organized and officially “Imam-less.” Muslims themselves had either to choose a respected believer to become their leader of prayers or, afterwards, sought to import an Imam from their own village or city in the country of origin. Because the situation of religious education in the wider Islamic world was still in the making in the postcolonial era, these imported imams had either a conservative education and were not open to modern state institutions or to liberal multicultural society, or they were not trained as Imams at all, but were lay men who had learnt the Quran, or part of it, by heart at the madrassas (al massid or al kuttab), and not at modern schools or universities.

On arrival in Europe, these Imams faced considerable problems. They often lacked the mastery of the language of the host country, and mostly lacked the understanding of the place of religion in the public space, and the role of religious authority within the community of believers. Also, the economic difficulties of these early “guest-workers” contributed to making institutionalized religious training and schooling unthinkable. The international rise of political Islam, the flow of funds of the Muslim communities from the countries of origin (through embassies and international religious movements), and the internal increasing “fear of Islamism” and the “feel of Islamophobia” made the idea of home-grown Imams beyond the scope of policy-making and state institutions at first. However, terrorist attacks (9/11, 7/7, etc.), increasing state surveillance of Islamic religious affairs, as well as the Muslim community need for recognized religious authority in European societies have made the idea again thinkable.

The last decade witnessed a remarkable increase in debates over the necessity to ground European Islam on the European soil, and through state institutions. Islamic representatives and schools are building partnerships with prestigious universities in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, for co-designed religious curricula and for the training of home-grown imams and the establishment of a domestic religious authority.

Conference Themes

This conference will examine the following major themes:

  • Imams in Islamic scholarship: intellectual requirements and the scope of action within religious scholarly authority
  • Muslim religious authority and their representative bodies in Western Europe
  • The Muslim community’s authority over the Imam: the social stratum
  • The importation of Imams and their geographical distribution in Western Europe
  • The prospects of developing “home-grown” Imams: mosques, Islamic schools, university departments of theology, and possible partnerships
  • Imams’ training and the job market
  • Imams, politics, and the media
  • Imams and civic engagement: ethics, spirituality, environment, social justice, multiculturalism, etc.
  • Comparative perspectives: best practices of religious national institutions and Imam training in Western Europe

Organizing partners

The Department of Political Science and the School of Governmentat LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome,
The Department of Cross Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen and John Cabot American University (JCU) of Rome
The NordForsk Research Network “Norms and Narratives in the Nordic Countries” (NONA),
The European Council of Moroccan Oulema (CEOM) in Brussels,
The Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS)

Conveners

Mohammed Hashas, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Political Science, LUISS University of Rome.
Niels Valdemar Vinding, Assistant Professor, Department of Cross Cultural & Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
Khalid Hajji, Secretary General of the European Council of Moroccan Oulema in Brussels, & associate professor at Mohamed I University in Oujda, Morocco.
Jan Jaap de Ruiter, Associate professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Co-conveners

Tom Bailey, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Business Administration, JCU
Michael Driessen, Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Affairs, JCU

Contact

Attendance is open and free but registration is required for space management (please write to Mohammed Hashas, hashasmohammed@gmail.com, or Niels Valdemar Vinding, lbm993@hum.ku.dk). A small amount of travel grants are available for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. To apply for a grant, contact the conveners above.