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Women, Islam and modernity.

Abu Shehab, Amina Abdullah (1993) Women, Islam and modernity. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis, based on written works, is concerned with the themes of women, religion and modernity in the Middle East. Modernity, which refers to modes of social life which emerged in Europe and became influential world-wide, is being challenged by the Islamic revival. This movement, particularly, in its cultural and social aspects involves a rejection of modernist tendencies. Evidently, the topic of women is central to the antagonism between modernity and revived Islam, where the basic Islamic formulations concerning the family are re-emphasized. Part of the aim of this study is to focus on the problematic relation between Muslim women and modern ideas and practices and to understand the background of the current phenomenon of the "return" of women to Islam. As the position of Muslim women is primarily derived from the holy texts and as other related issues, e. g. sexual morality, are intimately connected with Islamic ideology, the study starts with an exploration of the religious sources. History of Muslim women's modernization is pursued and an attempt is made to place it within a wider context and to search for links between the issue of women and the overall idea of modernization which is raised by modernized groups who have attempted to accommodate Islam with modernity with the arrival of capitalism and colonial domination. The topic of women and modern nation state is also touched upon, focusing on the struggle between the modernized ruling elites and the Islamic forces in an attempt to manipulate the question of women. The final part is an attempt to understand the Muslim revivalist conflict with modernity with regard to women and the family, as expressed in their popular literature, which excoriates modern society and displays obsessive concern at the change in their position, thus revealing their agenda for women's roles in contemporary societies, an agenda which is very much contrary to what modernity is all about.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Islamic Studies, Women's Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Anthropology

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