Islam and Partial Modernization: There Was No Liberation from Medieval Elements (Conversation with Irina Starodubrovskaya)

In his interview Taufik Ibrahim argues that the main problem for Muslims is that the traditional, medieval understanding of religion has not yet been overcome. This traditional understanding is connected with the loss of the initial creative impulse of early Islam, with the so‑called closure of the gate of ijtihad. Both the fundamentalists and the reformists typically reference the early Islamic period. But the question is, why do they do so?

What Is Happening in the Islamic World? An Attempt at a Conceptualization

This round table addressed the question of research methodologies for those trends now observable in the Islamic world, as well as conceptual approaches for understanding current developments there. Such frameworks as Islamic reformation, a neomodern age, and the search for a political Islamic identity were proposed. Participants did not agree about the relationship between Islamic fundamentalism and modernity. Some of them considered fundamentalism as potentially a modernist movement, and others saw it only as antimodernist and archaic.

Islamic Reformation: The Value of a Heuristic Approach

This article explores the analytical value of “Islamic Reformation” as a concept for analyzing the current situation in the Islamic world. It compares different approaches to religious reformation, including those applied to the Protestant Reformation. Delineation of the characteristics of reformation makes it possible to demonstrate that current tendencies in the Islamic world are quite similar to those that occurred during the Reformation and that some groups of Islamic fundamentalists can be considered as the driving force behind this new reformation.

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