Shaping modern knowledge on Islam

Max Weber and Sheikh Ahmad ibn Zayni al-Dahlan: Shaping modern knowledge on Islam

Cross-Cultural Seminar by Dietrich Jung from the University of Southern Denmark.


In light of the ongoing public debate that focuses on differences between Islam and the West, this presentation suggests a change of perspective. Instead of explaining differences, it aims at understanding similarities. Departing from the rather unknown and indirect intellectual relationship between the German Sociologist Max Weber and the nineteenth-century Mufti of Mecca, Ahmad Zayni al-Dahlan, the presentation aims at going beyond the conventional wisdom of "European influence on Muslim thinkers". Through the analytical lenses of contemporary social science theories, it interprets the emergence of modern knowledge on Islam as a fusion of intellectual horizions in light of general modern concepts such as state, positive law, science, secularism, authenticity etc. It identifies and demonstrates processes of the discursive and social interactions among Islamic Reformers, Orientalists and Sociologists, providing the foundation for our understanding of Islam as a religion in the modern world.

Cross-Cultural Seminars at ToRS

Every semester, six invited speakers will present a scholarly paper for academic staff and graduate students at ToRS (and other invited guests). The papers will be based on material from one of the regions covered by ToRS, but will - thematically or theoretically - also have a strong cross-cultural appeal. The aim is to encourage interest across disciplines at ToRS - and thereby strengthen scholarly discussion and cooperation - and to give us all a chance to get acquainted with scholars from outside the department.

Each presentation will last 45 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of discussion chaired by a person from ToRS. The seminars will take place every second Thursday from 15.15pm to 16.30pm in room U6. After each seminar, we will go for drinks and possibly dinner with the speaker. All participants are invited for this, but expenses will have to be covered by participants themselves.

Organizers: Andreas Bandak, Mikkel Bille and Lars Højer

September 15

Oscar Salemink (University of Copenhagen)
Sex and the Temple: Interlocking categorizations of sexuality, gender and the sacred in post-secular Vietnam

September 29

Brian Moeran (Copenhagen Business School)
Japanese Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in Japan

October 13

Ayo Wahlberg (University of Copenhagen)
Banking viability - reproduction and the sperm crisis in China

November 10

Nils Bubandt (Aarhus University)
Sacred Money. Faith and Finance in a Global Sufi Order

November 24

Dietrich Jung (University of Southern Denmark)
Max Weber and Sheikh Ahmad ibn Zayni al-Dahlan: Shaping modern knowledge on Islam

December 8

Michel Hockx (School of Oriental and African Studies, London)
Postsocialist Publishing: Internet Literature in China