Universiteit Leiden

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LUCIS Annual Lecture

Halal Market: the Invention of a Tradition

Monday 15 April 2019
Free to visit, drinks after; registration required
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Room 01

In this lecture, Florence Bergeaud-Blacker will show that halal – an invented religious standard – has helped develop a globalized market where it serves both as a sales argument and a tool for controlling behaviors.

From simple slaughter rituals to halal tourism, food, medicine and fashion, the halal market spans all continents. The freedom of interpretation of the texts enjoyed by the traditional religious authorities has been gradually replaced by a normative space where the faithful would only have the choice to seek the halal and flee the non-lawful. And the monitoring of sharia-compatible products through semi-merchant mid-religious intermediaries is now also applicable to the behaviour of their buyers.

What made possible such an expansion of the halal system”, making every faithful Muslim a consumer, and the Umma an economic power? From the heart of slaughterhouses to the normative committees in which our economic policies are decided, Florence Bergeaud-Blackler will tell us about the unlikely encounter between two utopias of the end of the twentieth century, Islamic fundamentalism and neoliberalism.

Showing that the recent invention of the halal market would not have been possible if the commercial interests had not passed before state neutrality and religious freedom, Bergeaud-Blackler also proposes a deciphering of the stakes of the controversies that divide the French society: ritual slaughter and animal welfare, halal meals in public institutions or businesses, etc.

About the speaker

Florence Bergeaud-Blackler is an anthropologist and a senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). She is a recognised specialist in the halal market in Europe as she has followed its evolution for more than twenty years. 

Bergeaud-Blacklers most recent publications are related to Islamic normativity in secular societies and halal markets. She has published many books on the halal market such as Le marché halal ou linvention dune tradition (2017), Halal Matters: Islam, Politics and Markets in Global Perspectives (2016). Les sens du halal: une norme dans un marché mondial (2015), and Comprendre le halal: concepts économiques, religieux et sociaux face au halal (2013).


Please register via this link. There are only 40 seats available.

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