Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society

Unity and Diversity: Negotiating Islam

From the formative period of Islam to the contemporary world, Muslims have negotiated changing modalities of being Muslim.

This is a dynamic and continuing process, the product of ongoing and unstoppable adaptations to an ever-changing environment and interactions with other cultural domains. This development has taken truly global forms, creating complex new configurations but also tensions.

Research in this area focuses on developments in Islamic thinking and practice, and their interaction with Islamic theological, legal, and political discourses. How are Muslim beliefs and practices given shape in everyday life and how do these relate to Muslim identity and imagination at a specific place and time? Looking at socio-historical circumstances – migration, changing power relations, the influx of new ideas, products and people, and their influence on society – we seek to understand the social visualisations of Islam in their historical context and as expressions of recurrent and recognisable patterns throughout history.

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