Research Seminar: ”Anything Goes:” Islam as an Empty Signifier – The case of Jihad – University of Copenhagen

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Research Seminar: ”Anything Goes:” Islam as an Empty Signifier – The case of Jihad

CRIC invites to the research seminar “"Anything Goes:” Islam as an Empty Signifier – The case of Jihad” with Dietrich Jung, CRIC partner and professor at University of Southern Denmark.

The research seminar will revolve around Dietrich Jung's paper on how the increasing fragmentation in interpretations of Islamic texts to a certain extent mirrors the modern society.

Registration
Please register at cric@cric.ku.dk no later than Wednesday April 15th, 2015. The paper will be sent to you when you have registered.

The paper
This paper addresses the multivariate readings of Islamic texts and the increasing fragmentation of the interpretation of Islamic traditions in modern times. It will argue that the polysemic nature of this interpretation of Islamic texts to a certain extent mirrors the increasing functional differentiation of modern society. In order to substantiate this argument, the paper will first present the analytical framework of a global public sphere. This analytical device will help us in our understanding of the polysemic nature of the contemporary discursive deliberations in the Muslim world. The empirical part of the paper will examine the case of the Islamic institution of Jihad. Taking a genealogical perspective, it analyses a number of steps of the re-interpretation of Islamic traditions since the nineteenth century, on which Islamic activists have based their contemporary understandings of Jihad. In this way, the essay underpins the general thesis that modern interpretations of Islamic traditions have gradually lost their embeddedness in traditional structures of political and religious authority. With respect to contemporary understandings of Jihad, this Islamic institution developed into a randomly used concept to legitimizing a broad variety of social activism by militant and non-militant means.

About research seminars
The research seminar is a forum for academic debate, organized around the paper and is conducted on the assumption that the paper has been read by participants.

Time and place
The seminar will be held in CRIC’s meeting room (25.0.01), Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, April 20th, 2015 from 13.30 to 15.00.