Islam: the test of globalization

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (3-4):295-307 (2010)
Globalization has consequences for the religious sphere, but it does not constitute a break with the previous situation. It constitutes rather an acceleration of a process begun with the birth of nation-states. The impact of the values of modernity is general, since even those in power, whatever their tendency, invoke values of democracy, progress, freedom and justice, whereas submission is what was required of subjects. Nevertheless, people today look to religion for fixed reference points, because of the brutal transition from the Middle Ages to the 20th and 21st centuries, and because modernity is not a endogenous phenomenon. Islam then is playing the role of bulwark against western hegemony. It is also instrumentalized both by the powers that be and by the oppositions, all of whom give themselves over to displays of one-upmanship over fidelity to Islam. Does Islam then maintain its relevance in the context of globalization? The fact is that the bases on which social relations are now founded no longer permit discrimination on the ground of sex or religion, and that there is a loosening of the grip of traditional ritualism and that more and more Muslims are looking for an understanding of the faith that is freed from old-fashioned dogmas. These new givens are being demonstrated particularly when it comes to the exercise of power and the condition of women. As a result, traditional conceptions are destined to evolve, particularly concerning the status of the Koran, the growing awareness of the historical process that made the Koran into a juridical code, the archetype that has been stuck to the person of the Prophet, and the alienation that consists in the sacralization of every human act
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DOI 10.1177/0191453709358563
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