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The Case of Polish Female Converts to Islam
This is the first systematic study of conversion to Islam among Polish women in English. This book offers insights about lived realities of female Polish converts, many of whom develop cosmopolitan identities and reside in the UK. Through interviews with Polish female converts to Islam and ethnographic observation we learn about their way to Islam in a country where Muslims constitute less than 0,5% of the population and daily struggles related to maintaining their national and religious identities considered to be spoiled by many.
Serendipities in the Production of Danish Islams
Author: Jesper Petersen
In the last decade a number of women-led mosques have emerged in Europe and North America. In The Making of a Mosque with Female Imams Jesper Petersen documents the serendipitous, yet predictable, emergence of the Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen. The study first demonstrates that individuals’ facing the unpredictable plays a decisive role in social processes. This leads to an investigation of how serendipities are erased when narratives are erected retrospectively in the form of commodified products, autobiographical narratives, and research. Furthermore, Petersen conceptualizes non-Muslims’ theological productions of Islam – Islam without the worship of Allah, so to speak – and demonstrates how this influences Muslim productions of Islam.
Approches nouvelles de la violence et de la démocratie
L’islam Ouest-africain compte plusieurs confréries soufies notamment au Nord-Nigeria, au Niger et au Sénégal, des pays où la Tijāniyya occupe une place importante dans la sphère publique. Dans la première partie de ce livre, par une perspective comparatiste utilisant les concepts de démocratie, de laïcité, de domination et de violence, l’auteur montre comment ceux-ci sont déployés au niveau local surtout dans le champ politique sénégalais. Dans une deuxième, il s’engage dans un décryptage des relations complexes entre religion et politique dans le Sénégal des deux régimes d’alternance, utilisant alors une approche bourdieusienne de la domination. Bien des marabouts interviennent pour arrêter les projets de personnalisation du pouvoir central. Leur intervention politique sous forme d’appel à la non-violence parvient à stabiliser le Sénégal.

West African Islam has several Sufi orders, particularly in Northern Nigeria, Niger and Senegal, countries where the Tijāniyya occupies an important place in the public sphere. In the first part of this book, through a comparative perspective therefore using the concepts of democracy, secularism, domination and violence, the author depicts how these categories are exercised at the local level, especially in the political field. In the second part, he engages in deciphering the complex relations between religion and politics in the so-called alternance regimes between 2000 and 2020, using a Bourdieusian approach to domination. Many marabouts intervene to stop the projects of personalization of the central power. The author concludes that there is a new form of community democracy that Sufi guides use to politically stabilize Senegal.

Abstract

At the height of the deadlocks around global climate change discussions and negotiations, Pope Francis made entry with a morally captivating encyclical letter (Laudato Si) on the Care for Creation. Using a scoping review approach, we focused on a five-year-old body of research around the encyclical, identifying impacts as well as other issues arising from the scholarly engagements. Here, 150 English written publications from 2015 to 2020 were reviewed. The majority of these texts (80 %) addressed the significance and vision of Laudato Si. The rest were distributed between those that presented criticisms of the letter (11 %) and those that gauged the impact of the letter on environmental worldviews (9 %). Second, the climate change (technological advancement)-poverty (climate justice) connection, which is the encyclical’s major focus, remains contested and inconclusive as some critics have rather found and presented a positive relationship between these variables. Third, Laudato Si has recorded a mixed impact. To some people, it has not only led to increased credibility of the Pope but also the increased concern for climate change, whereas to others, it has led to a decreased credibility of the Pope as well as a lessened concern for climate change. Fourth, studies gauging Laudato Si’s impact is geographically biased as they have largely focused on the US and Europe while neglecting other regions especially Africa. The implications of these findings for research and policy are discussed.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

This article presents the personal experience narrative of Tashi Choedup (Tib. bkra shis chos grub, ‘They/Them’, b. 1990), an openly queer Buddhist monastic ordained in the Tibetan tradition in India, as a microcosmic reflection of the interaction between a traditional Buddhist conceptualisation of gender and its adaptations to the contemporary understanding of identity. After introducing the classical Buddhist views of gender, I will briefly survey the current orientation of the Tibetan Buddhist leadership between dogmatic legacies and progressive openings. The personal narrative of Tashi Choedup brings a positive account of the ethical shift away from gender variance phobia, also exemplifying the role of vernacular agency in challenging the neatness of the religious institutionalised social arrangement.

In: Religion and Gender

Abstract

While about half of the French population declare themselves to be non-religious, there is little research on how norms of secularization and secularism shape majority/minority stereotypes in France. Based on ethnographic research conducted through participant observation and semi-directive interviews in a multi-cultural Parisian neighborhood, this paper investigates these issues. It specifically analyzes the relations between white women and ethnic minority men in the context of an ethnically diverse neighborhood. The findings show that religiosity intersects with ethno-racial origin and gender in producing stereotypes about male ethnic minorities. Moreover, religiosity shapes white women’s discourses and behaviors about their own gender identity.

In: Religion and Gender

Abstract

Religious minorities have always been at the centre of the German nation-state’s self-understanding, as it came to define itself vis a vis, and often against, them. Historically, this can be seen specifically in the Jewish experience, and today reverberates in the experience of Muslims grappling with a position of alterity in German society. We will move beyond the scholarship on these two religious minority groups to that of these two religious minority groups—that is the intellectual milieu of German Jews and German Muslims. Both have confronted the insider-outsider status of religious minorities in Germany, while themselves occupying—and thinking from—this position of alterity. As Jewish intellectuals a century prior, Muslim intellectuals are confronting the (im)possibility of fully belonging to the society at hand. In so doing, they are, at times inadvertently, coming into conversation with Jewish intellectuals past on ideas surrounding the practice of religion, pluralism, minority-state relations, and social ethics.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe
Author: Ruth Sheldon

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic research with Haredi women in Stamford Hill to explore the limits of the secular vocabularies which dominate sociological diversity discourse, I ask why an assumed Jewish-Muslim enmity became its focus. First my response explores how a political theology of European Christendom, and a particular conjuncture of its race-religion constellation (Topolski 2018) finds expression in a secular concept of conviviality that regulates possibilities for intimacy in Hackney. I develop the claim that rationalist ideals of liberal sociality are in part mobilized to repress and contain violent histories of assimilation and exclusion in the borough. Second, I turn to Haredi women’s expression of an alternative Jewish-Muslim picture through intimacies that diverge from a convivial grammar. This leads me to tentatively explore how a vernacular Hasidic concept of chesed might hold together antinomies of care and violence, and offer alternatives for being-with, and mourning-with the neighbour in violent times.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe

Abstract

Drawing on original interviews conducted between 2016 and 2018, this article explores understandings of Muslim-Jewish relations among Jews who immigrated from Morocco to France after 1945. These interviews suggest that the weight of currently circulating meta-discourses can lead to dissonances between individuals’ personal memories and the collective memories that they invoke in regard to Jewish-Muslim relations. As these interviews were conducted as part of a larger study of graduates of the schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in the MENA who immigrated to France, Canada and the United States after 1945, the author places these French findings in a larger comparative context, considering how the memories and perspectives of Moroccan Jews who immigrated to France converge and diverge from those who emigrated to North America.

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe
Author: Hanane Karimi

Abstract

Based on religious belonging, either Jewish or Muslim, and trajectories of migration, the ascription of radical alterity transforms minority status but also distinguishes it from French national citizenship (Sayad, 1987). I argue that diverse forms of Muslim alterity in France borrow elements of the ways in which Jews were/are constructed as Others; both illegitimate and dangerous. To do this, I analyze and compare the specificity and the variations of legal exclusion, of the alterization and social illegitimacy to which Jewish then Muslim populations have been or are relegated. Such a comparative perspective allows us to identify regulation vis-à-vis French Jews under Vichy in order to underline an ideological continuum which fuels the construction of the figure of the internal (Jewish, and now Muslim) stranger. To the image of the stranger I apply the notion of paradoxical citizenship elaborated by Joan W. Scott in the case of women excluded from citizenship along with Jews (Scott, 1998).

In: Jews and Muslims in Europe