How does Islam engage with the idea of the modern and with the contemporary world? How is Muslim tradition to be reconciled with a world in continuous flux and change? These questions lie at the heart of current discussions of the Islamic faith and of its doctrines, beliefs and practices. Engaging directly with such questions, this important volume discusses such key themes as identity and citizenship, piety and protest and music and modes of dress. Muslim as well as non-Muslim scholars explore how religiosity and tradition may both have an active role to play in the unfolding of what we understand of as 'the modern'. Modernity is commonly portrayed as a break with traditionalism: and as a marriage to the secular. Yet the core values at stake - from the ethos of intellectualism to the pluralism of civic culture - have roots in diverse civilizations, and certainly in those of Islam. A vital theme in the book is the role played by the ethical imagination in expressions of the civil determined by a diversity of Qur'anic understandings. This role is important in practices of civil society and citizenship, in grappling with new technologies, and in the challenges posed by political violence. Since 9/11, the West's failure to come to grips with plural modernities has reinforced simplistic assumptions about a 'clash of civilizations'. Fresh perspectives are offered here on what it is to be both modern and Muslim, mindful of the multiple narratives that inform both identities.
Expressions of the Civil Imagination