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Armando Salvatore

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Armando Salvatore

Abstract

Following a historical sociology approach critiquing and reconstructing key social theory categories, the chapter delineates some key trajectories in the history of the Islamic ecumene through which combinations of saintly charisma and practices of civility originating both within Sufi brotherhoods and courtly milieus were appropriated by various rulers and their courts for the sake of buttressing the political legitimacy of their ever more centralizing states, starting in the Later Middle Periods (13th to 15th centuries) and going into early modernity. The study appraises these developments as significant for the genesis of endogenous Islamicate patterns of precolonial political modernity. The analysis shows how these patterns, and the role played by both religious scholars and state administrators in shaping them, can be contrasted with the European Leviathan-model of sacral sanctioning of sovereignty. Examples are mainly drawn from the evolution of Timurid and Ottoman rule and court cultures in the larger context of late-medieval and early modern Islamicate empires, along with their changing religiopolitical balances. Through this, I also enucleate the potential space of a ‘sociology of Islam,’ of which I am a practitioner, and which I do see as influenced by Reinhard Schulze’s work.

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Armando Salvatore

Abstract

This article probes into the issue of secularity as a main node of the historic construction of modern power and the modern state in Europe. It builds an interpretative arch ranging from the Spanish Reconquista, stretching through the European Wars of Religion and the resistance to the "Turkish Threat" of the encroaching Ottoman armies, and reaching into the contemporary predicament of the presence of a growing population of Muslim background in the key states of Western Europe, notably those involved in the Reconquista, the resistance to the "Turkish Threat", and in the Wars of Religion. The analysis matches the interpretation of these historical traumata with philosophical and sociological reflections, from Spinoza and Vico to Asad and Casanova. The conclusions point to the inherent ambivalence and arbitrary character of the modern secular distinction between religion and politics. They suggest that the philosophical utopia of secularity is still an open issue for the European states and that the growing presence of Islam in Europe helps give evidence of the limits of the secular arrangements reigning in the continent thus far.

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Edited by Armando Salvatore and Dale Eickelman

This book explores the public role of Islam in contemporary world politics. “Public Islam” refers to the diverse invocations and struggles over Islamic ideas and practices that increasingly influence the politics and social life of large parts of the globe. The contributors to this volume show how public Islam articulates competing notions and practices of the common good and a way of envisioning alternative political and religious ideas and realities, reconfiguring established boundaries of civil and social life. Drawing on examples from the late Ottoman Empire, Africa, South Asia, Iran, and the Arab Middle East, this volume facilitates understanding the multiple ways in which the public sphere, a key concept in social thought, can be made transculturally feasible by encompassing the evolution of non-Western societies in which religion plays a vital role.
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Edited by Armando Salvatore and Dale Eickelman

This book explores the public role of Islam in contemporary world politics. “Public Islam” refers to the diverse invocations and struggles over Islamic ideas and practices that increasingly influence the politics and social life of large parts of the globe. The contributors to this volume show how public Islam articulates competing notions and practices of the common good and a way of envisioning alternative political and religious ideas and realities, reconfiguring established boundaries of civil and social life. Drawing on examples from the late Ottoman Empire, Africa, South Asia, Iran, and the Arab Middle East, this volume facilitates understanding the multiple ways in which the public sphere, a key concept in social thought, can be made transculturally feasible by encompassing the evolution of non-Western societies in which religion plays a vital role.