Journal Article

Contemporary Islamic Activism: The Shades of Praxis

Mazen Hashem

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 67, issue 1, pages 23-41
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Contemporary Islamic Activism: The Shades of Praxis

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Contemporary Islamic activism is manifested in heterogeneous and overlapping forms. This paper aims at furthering the understanding of Islamic activism by developing a two-dimensional typology that accounts for the nature of Islamic activism discourse and the outlook of its programmatic action. Specifically, the terrain of Islamic activism is mapped out by intersecting two orientations: the approach toward understanding sharia (Islams socio-religious teachings) and the form of activism. As for sharia approaches, three modes of thinking occupy Islamic activism: a didactic mode, a literalist mode, and an eclectic mode. On the other hand, three forms of activism divide the field of action: a local social movement of a limited scope of concerns, a global social movement of expansive social and political themes, and an individualistic type of activism. The interaction of these types of activism with the modes of sharia understanding produces the ecology of contemporary Islamic activism.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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