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Religions 2018, 9(11), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110355

Nation as a Neo-Idol: Muslim Political Theology and the Critique of Secular Nationalism in Modern South Asia

Graduate Division of Religious Studies, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, 145 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nationalism)
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Abstract

Modern perspectives on nationalism tend to privilege structuralist readings which approach nationalism as entailing economic and political restructuring, thereby overlooking the necessary role of human factors in the functioning of nationalism. Religious opposition to secular nationalism is then condemned as backward, reactionary, fundamentalist, or ideological. However, a different understanding of nationalism is uncovered when the role of human factors in nationalism are scrutinized. Toward discerning the role of human factors in nationalism and its relation to religion in general, I turn to Liah Greenfeld’s analysis of social psychology of nationalism as a secular ideology. In exploring the effects of nationalist ideology on religion, I return to the earliest Muslim debates on nationalism in South Asia between two critics of nationalism, Muhammad Iqbal and Abu’l A’laa Mawdudi, and their opponents, Abul Kalam Azad and Husayn Ahmad Madani. View Full-Text
Keywords: nationalism; political Islam; religion and politics; South Asia; India; Pakistan; British colonialism; political theology; religion; revivalism; Islamism; neo-traditionalism; fundamentalism; Mawdudi; Iqbal; Azad; Madani nationalism; political Islam; religion and politics; South Asia; India; Pakistan; British colonialism; political theology; religion; revivalism; Islamism; neo-traditionalism; fundamentalism; Mawdudi; Iqbal; Azad; Madani
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rehman, M.A. Nation as a Neo-Idol: Muslim Political Theology and the Critique of Secular Nationalism in Modern South Asia. Religions 2018, 9, 355.

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