Theoretical framework

This WP develops new thinking about religious diversity and secularism or laïcité. It is an interlinked component for the entire RELIGARE project in that it aims to provide a theoretical and methodological steer to and reflection of each of the other substantive WPs, while being informed by the latter’s concrete results. European State systems have been profoundly influenced by an historical shift towards secularism, developed as a way of managing religious conflict, and the limitations imposed upon scientific thought. Interestingly, these assumptions are accepted, at least by a section of the elites beyond the Euro-American sphere, although they appear to now be eclipsed by the ostensible rise of religious consciousness and expression. Meanwhile, European states and their different institutions and knowledge regimes have been profoundly conditioned by their own experiences and the dominant trends within Christianity, be it in its Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant (Lutheran, Anglican, etc.) forms, as well as having developed varying post-Enlightenment state-religion arrangements.

Bibliography on the Theoretical Framework

RESEARCH AREA on the THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK (WP2)

 

ADAMS, M. & OVERBEEKE, A., “The Constitutional Relationship between Law and Religion in the History of Ideas: A Contemporary European Perspective”, Global Jurist 2008, Vol. 8 : Iss. 3 (Topics), Article 4, 24 p.

 

AHDAR, R., LEIGH, I., Religious Freedom in the Liberal State, Oxford, OUP, 2005, 446 pp.

 

In pursuit of the pagans: Muslim law in the English context

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Author(s): 
Prakash Shah
Publication: 
RELIGARE Working Paper No. 9
Abstract: 

Western and Muslim law. Muslim law is itself a complex, pluralistic amalgam of different legal ‘bricks’, and in the context of the struggle for Islam to be acknowledged as a legitimate source of value pluralism in the Western context, the religious aspects of Muslim law, with their doctrinal justifications, are being foregrounded. With the English case as the main focus, I further argue that customs among Muslims are suppressed in this process of ‘shariatisation’. Beyond that, even Muslim doctrines are being placed under the spotlight in various ways. These changes are taking place as a result of Muslims living as nondominant communities in Europe, where they are under the gaze of the dominant culture and are judged to be potential or actual violators of human rights and the rule of law. Relying on Balagangadhara’s (2005) explanation of the ‘dynamic of religion’, I present these processes as an outcome of the collision of two religious cultures, the Islamic and the Western.

Methods and Contexts in the Study of Muslim Minorities: Visible and Invisible Muslims

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Author(s): 
Nadia Jeldtoft, Jørgen Nielsen (eds)
Publication: 
Ashgate Publishing Firm. Series Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract: 

In the past decade Muslims in Europe have been the subject of heated debates on the place and role of religion in the public space. Research into the issues involved has often used visible and formalised expressions of Muslim religiosity as its empirical point of departure. This book instead examines the microlevel workings of Muslim minority religiosity to offer a new perspective on these debates.

 

Contributors to this volume examine the forms of Muslim religiosity which are not dependent on the official or semi-official settings of organised religion. These ethnographic studies investigate a range of examples of non-organised Islam, ranging from salafi-jihadism, to converts to Islam, to everyday spiritualities of Muslim in Europe. By exploring these neglected forms of Muslim religiosity, this book is able to build up a more nuanced picture of the role of Muslims in Europe. It will be of interest to academics, researchers and graduate students of Religion, Ethnic Studies, Migration Studies, Sociology and Political Science.

 

For more information and orders, please visit: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415692250/

Journal of Muslims in Europe

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Author(s): 
Samim Akgönül, Ahmet Alibašić, Brigitte Maréchal, Jørgen S. Nielsen, Egdūnas Račius, Thijl Sunier (eds.)
Publication: 
Academic Journal, Brill Publishing Firm
Abstract: 

The Journal of Muslims in Europe is devoted to publishing articles dealing with contemporary issues on Islam and Muslims in Europe from all disciplines and across the whole region, as well as historical studies of relevance to the present. The focus is on articles offering cross-country comparisons or with significant theoretical or methodological relevance to the field. Case studies with innovative approaches or on under-explored issues, and studies of policy and policy development in the various European institutions, including the European courts, and transnational movements and social and cultural processes are also welcome. The journal also welcomes book reviews.

 

All contributions to the journal must display a substantial use of primary-source material and must be original. The editors also encourage younger scholars to submit contributions. The Journal of Muslims in Europe has a double-blind peer review system.

 

For further information and orders, please visit: http://www.brill.nl/publications/journals/journal-muslims-europe

Religion and the Myths of Secularization and Separation

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Author(s): 
Veit Bader
Publication: 
RELIGARE Working Paper No. 8
Abstract: 

This paper discusses the difficulties we encounter in working out with care and detail – in conditions of extensive religious diversity – a concept of religion that is not biased towards ‘Western’, Christian or Abrahamic religions. Yet, it also tries to show that we need such a concept for practical and scientific purposes. With the aim of ending the unhappy marriage between ‘modern’ sociology and a predominant political philosophy that has uncritically legitimized the ‘secularization of societies’ and a pretended ‘secular state’/politics, the paper discusses whether it is possible to develop critical concepts of ‘the secular’ and of ‘secularization’ that are free from their Western, Christian and Protestant bias. It intends to show that only polycontextual and perspectivist concepts can achieve this and what such critical concepts look like.

Transnational family relations in migration contexts: British variations on European themes

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Author(s): 
Prakash Shah
Publication: 
RELIGARE Working Paper No. 7
Abstract: 

This paper discusses the increasingly transnational and trans-jurisdictional activities that members of diasporic communities engage in, and the ways in which members of such communities may experience legal penalties within Western legal systems for such engagements. With a focus on British legal systems and some European jurisprudence, the paper outlines the ways in which trans-jurisdictional marriages and divorces have become two key areas where penalties may be experienced. The writer argues that this not only poses problems for the ways in which domestic legal systems in Europe may impose unjust results for those diasporic communities, but goes on to suggest that, for a more just global legal order, the basis of private international law rules in the principle of the ‘comity of nations’ may have to be rethought by its transformation to that of a ‘comity of peoples’.

Everyday Lived Islam

03/03/2011 09:00
04/03/2011 17:30

Date: 3 - 4 March 2011
Venue: Faculty of Theology, Købmagergade 44 at Auditorium 2, Copenhagen, Denmark
Organizers: The Center for European Islamic Thought, Copenhagen University and The AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, UK

Embedding Mahr (Islamic dower) in the European Legal System

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Author(s): 
Rubya Mehdi and Jørgen S. Nielsen
Publication: 
DJØF Publishing, 2011
Abstract: 

Editors: Rubya Mehdi and Jørgen S. Nielsen
Date: 2011
Publisher: DJØF Publishing
Abstract: Globalization and migration have served to make European societies multicultural to an unprecedented extent since 1945, but they have also increasingly brought multicultural life into the courts rooms and administrative institutions. However, there remains a lack of in-depth research investigating particular issues of Muslim family laws and how these interact with society on an unofficial level as well as in relation to the official legal processes. It is especially this latter aspect, i.e. how alternative norms play out in the formal courts, which is the focus of this book, with mahr as the main reference point.
Mahr, usually translated as dower (to distinguish it from dowry as the contribution which a bride brings to a marriage), is an amount of money or property which in a Muslim marriage is an obligation of the husband to the wife and has generally been more sympathetically treated by European courts than any other aspect of Islamic family law. Mahr engages various branches of the law such as gender equality, status of religion, contract, family including heritance, and private international law. It is a topic which functions as a prism through which much broader issues of cultural, religious and legal pluralism can be brought together for an analysis with implications beyond the apparently narrow focus of the immediate subject.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: http://www.djoef-forlag.dk/vare/8757424764
 

Religious Diversity and Secular Models in Europe: What role and potential for the EU?, 14 January 2011, Brussels

14/01/2011 09:00
14/01/2011 13:00
Organizer(s)

This RELIGARE Meeting will be held on the 14th January 2011 at the Conference Room of the Belgian Senate (Leuvenseweg 21, 1000 Brussel).

 

It will provide the Work package leaders of the project with the opportunity to present their preliminary policy recommendations in order to discuss them with the partners, members of the Advisory Board as well as the invited participants present in the meeting.

 

Religious Diversity and Secular Models in Europe: What role and potential for the EU?

With religion assuming a growing prominence in public debates across the EU, the question of how to manage Europe’s religious diversity was the focus of an expert seminar jointly organised by CEPS, the Catholic University of Leuven and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research on January 14th at the Belgian Senate .

 

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