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This article focuses on how the digital age has affected the Crimean Tatar religious authorities in the emerging cyber-Islamic environment. I argue that despite government restrictions, the internet remains a safe space for public debate and for challenging Muslim authorities in Crimea. I also argue that although online media have allowed traditional Muslim authorities in Crimea to improve communication within their organization and expand their audiences, they have become a platform for challenging their hierarchies, structures, ideologies, and texts. First, the structure of the Crimean Muslim community is outlined. I then describe the Crimean cyber-Islamic environment, before using social-media analysis and interviews with Muslim leaders to analyze the situation in the Crimean Tatars’ cyber-Islamic environment, with a focus on their religious authorities.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

While the prominence of neuroscience and neurotechnologies has generated intensive debates about the normative analysis of the ethical-legal challenges in public opinion and academia, these debates are relatively scarce among law and religion experts. To overcome the shortfall, this contribution describes the impact of the main neuroscientific applications on the right of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Considering how neurosciences techniques can alter the mind, decode thoughts, and enhance cognitive functions, particularly individual thought and conscience, I suggest revising the traditional dichotomy of forum internum and forum externum of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and rethinking the protection of the forum internum, which is at risk in the Age of Neuroscience.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

This article discusses how the visual and embodied storytelling methods of the theater may be used in the formation of Islamic knowledge. Examining productions staged by young women in Oslo in the tradition of the Twelver Shia theater, taʿziyeh/shabih, during commemorative rituals, I ask: How did producers and actors perceive theater to generate knowledge? How were visual and embodied storytelling methods used in conveying religious knowledge? What kind of knowledge was generated? Inspired by theater theory and post-structuralist semiotics, the analysis shows that the theater had transformative qualities that could contribute to cultural transmission, education, and moral and spiritual development. Knowledge was produced through sensorial communication, thinking, and understanding, and was held to emerge from the spectators’ and actors’ aesthetic and affective experiences, in addition to their abilities to create emotional relations with holy protagonists and the divine. The learning outcome was therefore presented as open-ended and invited young spectators and actors to take responsibility and reflect on how to act and respond in our time.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
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In: Journal of Religion in Europe
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Abstract

Research into Islamic higher education tends to focus primarily on the educational institution as the object of the analysis and neglects the perspectives of students. To tackle this research desideratum, this article investigates students’ educational paths in the field of Islamic higher education. Based on in-depth interviews and extensive fieldwork among German students and alumni from the International Theology Program (Uluslararası İlahiyat Programı) in Turkey, the article has a twofold aim. First, it unpacks the motivations and reasons for students to study Islamic theology. Second, it examines how studying Islamic theology comes to constitute a meaningful endeavor for the students. The analysis shows that students’ complex ways of aspiring to study Islamic theology simultaneously constituted relevant means of becoming. Thus, studying Islamic theology constituted a venue for interlocutors to explore sources of identity and processes of meaning-making.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

This article investigates attempts at, and the implications of, speaking publicly for Islam in Denmark, with special attention to the notion of “voice.” First, I present a theoretical framework for an analytical focus on voice, and develop a distinction between “being” and “having” a voice. In the analysis that follows, I focus on three recent Danish podcast series produced by and featuring Muslims that to various extents all address issues related to Islam. Thereafter I discuss the effectiveness of the studied podcasts’ efforts to be and have a Muslim voice in light of the analytical concepts “recognition” and “resonance.”

Open Access
In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

Engagements in Islamic knowledge search have proved an important aspect of the religious path for Muslim women worldwide. This article testifies that that is also the case for pious Danish Muslim women. Based on extensive fieldwork, it describes how pious Danish Muslim women make an effort to find time for Islamic educational engagements in an everyday life of other obligations to maintain a continuous commitment to learning about Islam, and it describes the various routes to knowledge that the women employ. Throughout, it is argued that temporal and social aspects are key to consider if we are to understand the engagement of the women. First, I show that everyday commitments and time management in relation to such commitments are key for understanding how Danish Muslim women’s engagement in Islamic education unfolds. Second, I consider the engagement as shaped by the women’s social embeddedness in an everyday life of different commitments and ambitions and as cultivated through social bonds.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe