Conference of the Sektion Religionssoziologie German Society of Sociology in cooperation with the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
From the 1980s onwards, sociological research has paid increased attention to Islam. Parallel, a political and normative discourse about Islam and Muslim immigrants can be observed in many host countries that has been intensified by the events of 9/11 and that extends into the academic realm.
The reflection of sociological concepts and theories will take centre stage of the conference. Outdated theories that have already been criticized many times, shall be reviewed – whether they are Eurocentric, based on modernisation theory or on a homogenizing cultural understanding, as all of them lead to an asymmetric consideration.
A reflected sociology of Islam also needs to reconstruct everyday life of Muslims from an empirical perspective, while examining social practices, institutions, and knowledge systems. Following Weber’s concept of sociology, a particular approach could be to explore the conduct of life and the social forms of Muslim sociality.
A global, transnational and historical perspective is analytically indispensable, simply due to migration processes. However, this leads to a series of challenges: On the one hand, it is important to look at mutual and inner entanglements of knowledge, culture and power instead of following the idea of self-contained and homogenous Western or Islamic civilisations. On the other hand, a change of perspectives is intended: scientific observation should not any longer prioritise the focus on the effects of Islam for European societies. It should rather deepen the analysis of Muslim’s particular lifeworlds as well as the social arrangements of negotiation processes in their societies of origin and the host societies (e.g. from a legal standpoint or with regards to normative orders, the public-private relation, gender relations etc.).
Bryan Turner will held the key-note-speech and Georg Stauth the final reflections.