The Post-Islamist Turn and the Contesting Visions of Democratic Public Religion

In: Sociology of Islam
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  • 1 Columbia University

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This article examines the relationship between religion and sociopolitical development in the context of the re-emergence of popular social movements in Muslim societies in the Middle East and North Africa. It makes a case that despite the decline of Islamism as a mode of social mobilization, religion maintains an active presence within the public sphere. Focusing on the religious-political discourses of Abdolkarim Soroush and neo-Shariatis, as the representatives of two distinct post-Islamist currents in post-revolutionary Iran, the article identifies some of the capacities and limitations of their particular conceptions of democratic public religiosity for contributing to the ongoing processes of change in Iran and other contemporary Muslim societies.

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  • 3

    Soroush (2007) argues that revelation is akin to ‘inspiration.’ According to him, ‘In our modern age we can understand revelation by using the metaphor of poetry.’

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