Thinking Globally about Islam

Said Amir Arjomand

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Thinking Globally about Islam

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  • Interfaith Relations
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Virtually from its inception, Islam has been a global religion. It is the youngest of what Max Weber calls the world religions of salvation. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, a new variety of religious movements arose in Islam—as in Christianity and Judaism—that have been called “fundamentalist.” The emergence of fundamentalist movements is often attributed to the impact of globalization on the religious sphere. From this perspective, fundamentalism is to some degree a consequence of globalization. Though this is partly true, other forms of social change besides globalization are also causes of the contemporary resurgence of Islam, including its fundamentalist extremes. One of the things that makes contemporary Islam theoretically interesting is the intertwining of the dynamics of the old universalism and the new fundamentalism. This article discusses the universalist expansion of Islam, contemporary Islamic revival, Islam and politics, and globalization of Islam.

Keywords: Islam; globalization; Max Weber; fundamentalism; politics; universalism; salvation; social change; revival

Article.  4270 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Islam

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