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Title: Negotiating Islam : dialogues between liberalism and Islamic theologies in 21st century Britain
Author: Jones, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 8830
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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The recent intense focus upon Islam in the UK comes at a time when the religion is in a state of flux, with the traditions followed by older generations slowly giving way to new forms of religious expression. New interpretations are very gradually emerging at precisely the same time as suspicions are on the increase about Islam undermining national identity and respect for the liberal democratic division between public and private spheres. Against this tense backdrop, this thesis seeks to explore debates about religious interpretation and the relationship between Islam and liberalism that are ongoing among Britain’s Muslims. It draws upon data collected from a variety of new initiatives (focusing upon three in particular) that are involved in disseminating Islamic knowledge and discussing Islamic norms. Using this data, it examines the arguments of a wide variety of Islamic scholars, clerics and activists and highlights some of the ways in which Islam is being related to the British context. Of particular concern in the thesis are the implications these debates have for liberal traditions in the UK. It considers the effects of conventions of public discourse that seek to stifle the expression of religious ideas upon the possible future flourishing of British society and politics. The thesis argues against liberal political philosophies that aim to restrict public speech so that only “public” or “secular” reasons are offered in political debates, arguing that to do this is to risk mutual isolation between the UK’s many religious and secular moral traditions. It uses debates among Muslims in the UK on subjects such as national identity, political participation and civil and Islamic law to illustrate and give weight to this argument.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available