Complexity of Islamic Knowledge (Re)Production


With the proliferation of publicly engaged religiosities, most Islamic centres and institutions advanced women sections where women actively participate in shaping themselves and their perspective societies under the umbrella of da‘wah (call towards God). Women activism within/out institutional frameworks is not a new phenomenon but a marginalized one. This paper looks at teeming social actors operating and co-existing in the Lebanese society that has contradictory features: conflictual, sectarian, hierarchical, pluralistic, and quasi-cosmopolitan. These actors lie within networks that manage their actions and provide a backbone for their activities. This paper sheds light on the process of Islamic knowledge reproduction by some Lebanese Muslim women activists through transmission and dissemination. Islamic knowledge is continually considered irrelevant and trapped in abstracts. Accordingly, this paper moves beyond this supposedly fixed nature of religion to examine the complexity of Islamic knowledge (re)production by female Islamic activists. It examines 3 case studies in Lebanon using an ethnographic approach that was carried out for four months. It explores the different dimensions interplaying in the process of this knowledge production. First, it looks at da‘wah as a creative medium of institutional and personal production of Islamic knowledge. Secondly, it investigates the character of the organizations in prompting the potentiality of knowledge production. Then, it studies the characteristics, teaching styles and role of lay knowledge producers. Finally, it considers the varied audiences’ character and contributions to the process of knowledge production. Accordingly, power as constituent of knowledge is highlighted throughout.

Author Information
Alaa Khaled, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2024
Stream: Religion

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon