American Univesity of Beirut

SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION CONNECTING VISIONS

Abstract: In recent years, sociology has increasingly been criticized as a Eurocentric science, both in its formation and its current concepts and theories, along with calls for “de-colonizing sociology" or establishing a “post-colonial sociology". These attempts however often remain on a theoretical level and, most ironically, they hardly consider research in languages other than English. My current research project analyses sociologies of religion in Arabic in order to arrive at more nuanced answers to the question of which aspects of sociology are more widely shared and which are specific to particular societies and academic contexts. The focus on sociologies of religion is due to 'religion' being at the center of the most foundational debates on the epistemic and theoretical premises of sociology. Beyond universalist or particularizing assumptions, our aim has to be to connect sociological knowledge production from different contexts, but to also consider possible limits to this endeavor.

 

Bio: He served as Assistant and then Interim Professor for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He holds his PhD-thesis on “Modernity in Islamic Tradition. The Concept of 'Society' in the Journal al-Manar (Cairo, 1898–1940)" (De Gruyter 2018) from the University of Bern. Recent articles include: “The Janus Face of Kātib Çelebi: Reflecting on the Ottoman Saddle Period." Turcica 50 (2019) and “Validating Secularity in Islam: The Illustrative Case of the Sociological Muslim Intellectual Rafiq al-Azm (1865–1925)." Historical Social Research 44 (2019). 

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