Anthropology of Islam: History, Culture and Power

Ahmad, Irfan. 2013a. “Anthropology of Islam: History, Culture, Power.” Indian Economic and Social History Review. 50(4): 495 – 509.

Abstract: Is Muslim history or culture simply a terrain for gathering data to fit a model like the religious economy? Why is the influence of scholars such as Pierre Bourdieu, Clifford Geertz and Ernest Gellner ‘disassociated from their fieldwork in Islamic lands’? Can Muslim history and tradition also become the resources for refining and fashioning concepts and explanations?…An important challenge for an anthropology of Islam is also to critique the ongoing efforts and configurations of research and funding which aim, inter alia, at reducing the complexity, diversity, aesthetics and richness of Islam to a bare product, like a miracle, comprehensible to the regime of securitisation with new dichotomies: radical versus moderate Islam, good versus bad Muslims.