From a Republic of Letters to a Republic of Piety

Ebrahim Moosa

in What Is a Madrasa?

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9781469620138
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781469623221
From a Republic of Letters to a Republic of Piety

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Islam


Show Summary Details


This chapter examines the ideological debates within discrete madrasa networks about curriculum reform, where the cultivation of piety becomes the goal at the expense of rigorous scholarship. Aside from providing a curriculum to train Muslim scholars in colonial India, the eighteenth-century scholar Mulla Nizamuddin reinvigorated a learned community, and his efforts gave rise to a new iteration of the so-called Muslim Republic of Letters. Nizamuddin's curriculum formed a community of learning that served as a bridge from the past to his own time. Graduates who studied his curriculum become “citizens” avant la lettre, of what is known today as a “virtual community.” The rest of this chapter discusses the genealogies and features of Nizamuddin's Muslim Republic of Letters; whether there might be an opportunity for madrasas to become participants in “cellular globalization”; and whether the public sphere will be open to multiple languages and a plurality of forms of the “good,” including the “good” as articulated by the madrasa communities.

Keywords: curriculum reform; piety; Mulla Nizamuddin; learned community; Muslim Republic of Letters; community of learning; virtual community; madrasas; cellular globalization; public sphere

Chapter.  7299 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Islam

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.