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The Sociology of Islam: Knowledge, Power and Civility




The Sociology of Islam: Knowledge, Power and Civility

Armando Salvatore

ISBN: 978-1-118-66264-9 June 2016 342 Pages

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The Sociology of Islam provides an accessible introduction to this emerging field of inquiry, teaching and debate. The study is located at the crucial intersection between a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. It discusses the long-term dynamics of Islam as both a religion and as a social, political and cultural force.

The volume focuses on ideas of knowledge, power and civility to provide students and readers with analytic and critical thinking frameworks for understanding the complex social facets of Islamic traditions and institutions. The study of the sociology of Islam improves the understanding of Islam as a diverse force that drives a variety of social and political arrangements.

Delving into both conceptual questions and historical interpretations, The Sociology of Islam is a transdisciplinary, comparative resource for students, scholars, and policy makers seeking to understand Islam’s complex changes throughout history and its impact on the modern world.

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Knowledge and Power in the Sociology of Islam 1

Knowledge/Charisma vs. Power/Wealth: The Challenge of Religious Movements 18

Civility as the Engine of the Knowledge–Power Equation: Islam and ‘Islamdom’ 23

PART I Patterns of Civility

1 The Limits of Civil Society and the Path to Civility 43

The Origins of Modern Civil Society 43

Civil Society as a Site of Production of Modern Power 50

Folding Civil Society into a Transversal Notion of Civility 57

2 Brotherhood as a Matrix of Civility: The Islamic Ecumene and Beyond 73

Between Networking, ‘Charisma,’ and Social Autonomy: The Contours of ‘Spiritual’ Brotherhoods 73

Beyond Sufism: The Unfolding of the Brotherhood 85

Rewriting Charisma into Brotherhood 92

PART II Islamic Civility in Historical and Comparative Perspective

3 Flexible Institutionalization and the Expansive Civility of the Islamic Ecumene 105

The Steady Expansion of Islamic Patterns of Translocal Civility 105

Authority, Autonomy, and Power Networks: A Grid of Flexible Institutions 114

The Permutable Combinations of Normativity and Civility 118

4 Social Autonomy and Civic Connectedness: The Islamic Ecumene in Comparative Perspective 131

New Patterns of Civic Connectedness Centered on the ‘Commoners’ 131

Liminality, Charisma, and Social Organization 140

Municipal Autonomy vs. Translocal Connectedness 147

PART III Modern Islamic Articulations of Civility

5 Knowledge and Power: The Civilizing Process before Colonialism 165

From the Mongol Impact to the Early Modern Knowledge–Power Configurations 165

Taming theWarriors into Games of Civility? Violence, Warfare, and Peace 176

The LongWave of PowerDecentralization 189

6 Colonial Blueprints of Order and Civility 201

The Metamorphosis of Civility under Colonialism 201

Court Dynamics and Emerging Elites: The Complexification of the Civilizing Process 218

Class, Gender, and Generation: The Ultimate Testing Grounds of the Educational-Civilizing Project 226

7 Global Civility and Its Islamic Articulations 239

The Dystopian Globalization of Civility 239

Diversifying Civility as the Outcome of Civilizing Processes 251

From Islamic Exceptionalism to a Plural Islamic Perspective 260

Conclusion 271

Overcoming Eurocentric Views: Religion and Civility within Islam/Islamdom 271

The Institutional Mold of Islamic Civility: Contractualism vs. Corporatism? 278

From the Postcolonial Condition toward New Fragile Patterns of Translocal Civility 287

Index 295