Rearticulating Islam: A New Generation of Muslim Religious Leaders
Muslim religious authority structures are changing, in Denmark as well as globally. A new generation of Muslim religious leaders are facing particular challenges, possibilities and audiences, which demands a continuous rearticulation of Islam.
The research project Rearticulating Islam explores central aspects of this process by dealing with three questions:
- How do Danish-speaking Muslim preachers and teachers articulate and embody Islam in religious discourse, and how can these expressions be understood?
- Why do Scandinavian Muslims pursue Islamic education abroad, and what impact does this have?
- How does the Danish public sector accommodate and use Muslim religious actors, practices and norms?
The project’s researchers will investigate these questions through e.g. interviews, document analyses and participant observation.
Danish Muslim Religious Oratory (Senior project, Simon Stjernholm)
New types of Muslim religious leaders are emerging that combine social and religious functions as well as develop new modes of oratory. This subproject will contribute the first detailed analysis of selected Muslim preaching and teaching activities in Danish. It will be carried out in dialogue with research on Islamic preaching, media and religion, multimodality, and rhetorical criticism. Its primary data are preachers’ and teachers’ own media productions, researcher-produced video and audio recordings, as well as interview material.
Accommodation of Islam in the Danish Public Sector (Postdoctoral project, Kasper Ly Netterstrøm)
This subproject aligns itself with a body of international research that studies how the public sector in European countries has adapted to and accommodated Muslims. The aim is to give a comprehensive overview of the scale and nature of this accommodation, and whether it is contentious, ideological or pragmatic. The focus is on local institutions such as kindergartens, schools and elderly homes. Data will be collected from Danish municipalities and regions.
Muslim Women’s Islamic Educational Activities (PhD project, Maria Lindebæk Lyngsøe)
This research project focuses on Islamic educational activities in Denmark with a special attention to Muslim women’s engagement in these. Maria’s research consists primarily of interviews with women who actively engage in such activities as teachers and/or students, and of observations of Islamic education as it unfolds in a variety of settings ranging from big conferences, over weekly classes, to private study circles. Importantly, the attention of the research is on individuals and groups rather than on institutions like mosques, even if many activities take place in mosques or similar institutions. Methodologically, this project thus takes a bottom-up approach. Based on the interviews, observations, and logbook notes from a group of women, the project investigates the different paths the women follow in their engagement with Islamic knowledge as either teachers or students – or both. The project asks how knowledge is produced discursively and performatively in the different educational settings. Additionally, it investigates how the women relate to Islamic knowledge and to the knowledge search, and what it means for their individual and collective identity formation to engage with Islamic knowledge. This also includes looking into the question of authority and possible authority positions.
Young Muslims Pursuing Higher Islamic Education Abroad (PhD project, Maximilian Lasa)
The PhD project tackles the following overarching questions: Why do young Muslims pursue higher Islamic education (abroad), what kind of universities and schools are they attending, and what impact does this education have? Methodologically, the project employs a qualitative approach by conducting semi-structured interviews with students and alumni from Germany as well as textual analysis of relevant documents, such as curricula. Using a micro-scale approach, the project aims to capture individual trajectories of students and how Muslim subjectivities are shaped in educational contexts. It highlights the different backgrounds, motivations, wishes and goals of students, as well as the different career opportunities and paths resulting from studying higher Islamic education. Furthermore, the study aims to offer a new perspective on the transnational dimensions of higher Islamic education by exploring how students situate themselves in the transnational field of higher Islamic education.
Professor Masooda Bano, University of Oxford
Professor Nadia Marzouki, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
Professor Catharina Raudvere, University of Copenhagen
Stjernholm, Simon. Att höra röster: Tre faser av lyssnande, Religionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift 70, 1–14.
Stjernholm, Simon. Brief Reminders: Muslim Preachers, Mediation and Time, in Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and Beyond: Historical and Contemporary Case Studies, edited by Simon Stjernholm and Elisabeth Özdalga. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020, 132–151.
Stjernholm, Simon: DIY Preaching and Muslim Religious Authority, Journal of Muslims in Europe, vol. 8, 2, pp. 197–215, 2019.
Stjernholm, Simon. Islamisk uddannelse med globale ambitioner, in Religion i en globaliseret verden, edited by Margit Warburg & Annika Hvithamar. Aarhus: Forlaget Univers, 163–178.
Stjernholm, Simon: Muslim Religious Oratory on Swedish Public Service Radio, Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 34, 1, page 57-73, 2019.
Stjernholm, Simon. 2020. Muslim Youth, Education, and Islam in Britain, Journal of Muslims in Europe 9 (3): 413-422. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/22117954-12341422
Stjernholm, Simon: Sounding Sufi: Sufi-oriented messages on Swedish Public Service Radio. In Piraino F, Sedgwick M, editors, Global Sufism. Hurst & Co. London. 2019
Stjernholm, Simon & Elisabeth Özdalga (eds), Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and Beyond: Historical and Contemporary Case Studies, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020.
Project workshop: Islamic Learning and European Muslims, University of Copenhagen, 28–29 November 2019.
Panel on the topic: Continuations and Disruptions in Muslim Religious Leadership in Europe at the European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR) annual conference in Tartu, Estonia, on 25–29 June 2019.
Online conference panel, 19 March 2021. Project participants will present their research as part of the BRAIS (British Association for Islamic Studies) 2021 Online Series. The title of the panel is "Teaching and Learning Islam: Case Studies from Denmark, Sweden and Germany". Please find more information and register to participate here: http://www.brais.ac.uk/conferences/brais-2021.
Online research seminar, 4 May 2021. The title of this seminar is "Muslim Women's Engagement in Islamic Educational Activities". In addition to project participants and advisory board members, a group of international researchers from Britain and The Netherlands will participate. Only for invited participants.
PhD Fellow Max Lasa has been awarded a research grant from the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, allowing him a three-month stay at the institute (if possible due to the pandemic situation).