Living without why: an exploration of personal Muslim authenticity

Trevathan, Stephen Davis (2014). Living without why: an exploration of personal Muslim authenticity. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This work aims to look into the question of authenticity and inauthenticity within the Muslim discourse. How muslim can Muslims really be? Within the Muslim world the concept of authenticity is usually coupled with questions of adherence to the canonical and historical. Despite the fact that the Qur’an addresses the individual in a very direct manner, little emphasis seems to be focused on personal authenticity within contemporary Muslim circles. Muslim societies are understood to be communally based with less emphasis on the individual (Lewis : 2007) and yet inner searching has been very much a part of Muslim culture though this may now have shifted significantly in engaging with, what is argued here, as the increasing mundanization (Drane : 2000) and rationalist approaches to religion generally and specifically to Islam. This work sets out to explore what, if any, inauthenticities have arisen within the Muslim discourse that might have given rise to this. In attempting to think through these questions, various contemporary manifestations of global management culture are explored, the development of rationality within Muslim intellectual history and contemporary theological positions within Islam are brought up for examination. Throughout these enquiries any resulting connection with inauthenticity and rationalism is sought out. Has this management paradigm reached the religious sphere? Has there been a McDonaldization of Islam? How can these be effectively countered? Much of the analysis and discussion that takes place is through a dialectical perspective between classical Islamic and existentialist thought. One of main aims of this research is to demonstrate ways of thinking through to potential personal authenticity despite the obstacles mentioned.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc


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