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Article

Islamism, Islamic Modernism and the Search for Modern Authenticity in an Imaginary Past

The Center for Modern Middle East and Muslim Studies, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark
Academic Editors: Bjørn Olav Utvik and Brynjar Lia
Religions 2021, 12(11), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12111005
Received: 11 October 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 10 November 2021 / Published: 16 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamist Movements in the Middle East)
How to be authentically modern? This was the pervasive question behind the ideological elaborations of numerous religious and nationalist movements toward the end of the nineteenth century. Many of them attempted to find the answer in an imaginary past. This article claims that Islamist movements are not an exception, but rather an affirmation of this rule. The orientation towards a “golden age” of Islam and its allegedly authentic Islamic way of life has been a crucial feature of Islamist thought across all national, sectarian and ideological divides. The article traces this invocation of the past historically back to the construction of specifically Islamic forms of modernity by representatives of Islamic modernism in the second half of the nineteenth century. Interpreting their modernist thought in the context of more global nineteenth-century concepts and narratives, the article argues from a comparative perspective that Islamic modernism laid the foundations for the ways in which Islamist thinkers have constructed both individual and collective forms of Muslim identities. View Full-Text
Keywords: authenticity; modernity; Islamic modernism; golden age; Islamist movements authenticity; modernity; Islamic modernism; golden age; Islamist movements
MDPI and ACS Style

Jung, D. Islamism, Islamic Modernism and the Search for Modern Authenticity in an Imaginary Past. Religions 2021, 12, 1005. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12111005

AMA Style

Jung D. Islamism, Islamic Modernism and the Search for Modern Authenticity in an Imaginary Past. Religions. 2021; 12(11):1005. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12111005

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jung, Dietrich. 2021. "Islamism, Islamic Modernism and the Search for Modern Authenticity in an Imaginary Past" Religions 12, no. 11: 1005. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12111005

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