Dietrich Jung: „Der Islam als Problem“. Ein Blick auf aktuelle Publikationen über den Islam


In 1910, the German Orientalist C.-H. Becker launched the new journal Der Islam  in order to provide modern Islamic studies with a scholarly forum. In his programmatic article Der Islam als Problem, Becker demanded to abolish some of the axiomatic  truths of Oriental studies, in particular the assumption that the Islamic civilization is determined by its religious core. In light of the anniversary of Becker’s article, this essay poses the question as to whether contemporary publications on Islam have left behind these well-known Orientalist stereotypes. In reviewing a series of books on Islamic history, Islamist terrorism, Jihad, Islamic Law, as well as on questions of Islam and modernity, the essay comes to the conclusion that the field of Islamic studies indeed has transformed into a modern discipline applying methods of contemporary social and cultural studies. However, beyond the more narrow confines of the field of Islamic studies, the publications of many scholars and media pundits are still informed by some of the stereotypes which C.-H. Becker once relegated to the dustbins of academic history.

The following titles were discussed i.a.:
Lohlker, R.: Islam (113); Krämer, G.: Geschichte des Islam (114); Burke, J.: Al-Queda (117);  Steinberg, G.: Der nahe und der ferne Feind (118);  Cook, D.: Understanding Jihad (119); Esposito, J.  (Hrsg.): The Oxford History of Islam (122); Rohe, M.: Das Islamische Recht (122); Hunter, S.: Reformist Voices of Islam (127); Cooke, M. (Hrsg.): Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop (128)

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