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Islamic Revival and Modernity: the Contemporary Movements and the Historical Paradigms

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The contemporary Islamic movements are both a response to the conditions of modernity — to the centralization of state power and the development of capitalist economies — and a cultural expression of modernity. The emphasis upon Islamic values is not intended as a return to some past era but represents an effort to cope with contemporary problems by renewed commitment to the basic principles, though not the historical details, of Islam. Contemporary movements have predecessors in a similar wave of 18th and 19th century Islamic revival responding to the breakdown of Muslim empires and the economic and colonial intrusions of Europe. Behind these movements lie earlier reformist teachings and the example of the Prophet Muhammad himself, a lasting paradigm for how Muslims cope with changing worldly realities.

Affiliations: 1: University of California at Berkeley


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