EUME Berliner Seminar
Wed 10 Jul 2019 | 17:00–18:30

Lifeworlds of Islam: The Pragmatics of a Religion

Mohammed Bamyeh (University of Pittsburgh / EUME Fellow 2018/19), Chair: Yasmeen Daher (University of Montreal)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Over the past three decades, the Sociology of Islam has emerged as one of the most vibrant fields of Islamic studies. This seminar explores fundamental propositions that can now be made about Islam as a sociological phenomenon, in light of this large body of literature. The discussion, informed by the recent book Lifeworlds of Islam: The Pragmatics of a Religion (OUP, 2019), focuses on three “lifeworlds” that have made it possible for old ideas to continue to appear relevant to modern life, in spite of the presence of secular alternatives. These “lifeworlds” include 1) Islamic social movements (their origins, main characteristics, and prospects); 2) Islamic public philosophy (and its divided nature); and 3) historical structures that had delivered Islam as a template for global citizenship.

Mohammed Bamyeh is currently a Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh (USA), and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS), based in Beirut. Most recently, he was a Senior Fellow at the Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften (IFK) in Vienna, and the editor of International Sociology Reviews (ISR). Previously he held the Hubert Humphrey chair in International Studies at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the SSRC-MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. He has previously taught at Georgetown University, New York University, SUNY Buffalo, and the University of Massachusetts. His most recent book is Lifeworlds of Islam: The Pragmatics of a Religion (2019). He also served as the lead author of the Arab Council for Social Sciences’ (ACSS) first report, Social Sciences in the Arab World: Forms of Presence (2015). His other books include Intellectuals and Civil Society in the Middle East (ed., 2012); Anarchy as Order (2009); Of Death and Dominion (2007); The Ends of Globalization (2000); and The Social Origins of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse (1999). He has also edited several special issues of various journals, including Palestine America (2003); Literature and Revolution (2012); and (with Brett Neilson) Drugs in Motion: Toward a Materialist Tracking of Global Mobilities (2009). He has previously been a EUME Fellow in the academic years 2010/11 and 2014/15 and returned as affiliated EUME Fellow in the academic year 2018/19.

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