Margins of Tawhid: Liberalism and the discourse of plurality in contemporary Islam.
Mas, Ruth.
316 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
More Details
Electronic version licensed for access by U. of T. users.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2006.
general note
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 70-10, Section: A, page: .
The object of this study is to identify an emerging movement in which philosophically inclined Muslim Franco-Maghrebi intellectuals, Mohammed Arkoun, Fethi Benslama and Malek Chebel, are rethinking questions of plurality in Islam in relation to the homogenizing impetus behind the post-colonial liberal secular politics of the French nation state. It deconstructs the generally posited dichotomy between liberalism and Islam in order to critically engage the notions of liberal Muslims and liberal Islam. The advocating by these intellectuals of an Islamic pluralism against the ambivalence of the political ideology of liberalism, makes 'pluralism' the primary element of their liberalism as it is constituted by their engagement with and responsiveness to the Islamic tradition, itself a precondition of their reworking Islam in relationship to liberal values.The grammar of liberalism that emerges from the thought of these intellectuals is productive of a pluralistic metaphysics, which is reflective of their distrust of postulating a regulating, unifying reason, either Islamic or Western. In order to do so, they draw on the Mu'tazilite acceptance of the createdness of the Qur'an, they de-centre Qur'anic authority, and also problematise the normativity of Enlightenment discourses in France. Their critique of the contemporary French state and the racial categories and discourses of exclusion that ground citizenship is in tension with their attempts to recuperate a non-colonial Enlightenment and pluralistic values out of a history of French colonialism and empire.Their argument against essentialist constructions of Islamic authenticity discloses how culture and ethnic identity contribute to a rethinking of Islam in Europe and the importance of the role of Maghrebi culture and tradition in defining 'Islam'. Their consideration of different types of Muslim identity engages with the issue of subjectivity and hybridity as part of a vocabulary of multiculturalism and difference. By following the involvement of these intellectuals in debates within the French public sphere, this study traces the configurations of different types of subjectivity in relation to Islam: non-believing Muslims, secular Muslims, non-Muslim Muslims, cultural Muslims, converts to Islam and secular Islam. The work of these intellectuals encourages us to think in more complex ways about post-colonialism and Islam.
catalogue key

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem