Islam between tradition and modernity: An Australian perspective

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book canvases key questions put to Islam and Muslim in modern times with an eye to history and sensitivity to its complexities. I invite readers to be especially sensitive to three layers of complexity. The first layer is the different racial and ethnic backgrounds from which Muslims come. While Islam is one and eternal in terms of its sacred texts (the Qur''n and the prophetic practice), how an individual experiences Islam will differ depending upon their country of origin and factors such as education and upbringing. Second, Muslims seem to vary in their practice of religion. While some look modern, others give the impression that they are not interested in conforming to the expectations of Western culture and society. Muslims in the post-colonial era must be given an opportunity to define their own versions of modernity. There is a third layer of complexity when trying to understand Muslim societies. Muslims often say different things about a range of matters related to religion. They may even explain and practice Islam differently. We often hear about Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims. If Islam is one, what will we do with the reality of varying voices and contrasting interpretations? Muslims need to articulate the content and forms of what might be called the normative Islam. By this I mean an authoritative statement of what Islam is and what it isn't. As I explain, Shari'ah law does not represent a threat to Western law or Western jurisprudence. Issues related to globalization, jihad, terrorism, interfaith dialogue, Islam and bioethics, environmental ethics, Muslim identity, integration of Muslims, Muslims and modernity, Turkey as a case study and Islamic revivalist movements are canvassed in this book.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherBarton Books
Number of pages309
ISBN (Print)9781921577109
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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