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Embedding Islam in the ‘Moral Covenants’ of European States: The Case of a State-Funded Imam Training in the Netherlands

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image of Journal of Muslims in Europe

AbstractModern European societies have set their ‘moral covenants’ in recent history and these underpin their social institutions. But what happens when new ‘alien’ religious institutions have to be included into the ‘moral commonwealth’ since a considerable number of people from different cultural backgrounds have come to live in Europe? How do the ‘fragile formulas’ (Salvatore) or ‘moral covenants’ (Selznick) underpin the institutionalisation process of Muslim institutions? How do the covenants persist and change? The institutionalisation processes of imam training programmes in Europe are excellent examples which can be used to examine the content and contemporary use of these ‘moral covenants.’ This paper explores the example of the Dutch ‘imam training debate,’ as a contribution to ongoing studies which focus on strategies of various actors involved in the institutionalisation process of Muslim learning institutions in Europe.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht UniversityDepartment of Philosophy and Religious StudiesJanskerkhof 13, 3512 BL


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