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Multi-epistemic negotiation in the study of Islam: Overcoming incommensurability between Western and Islamic approaches in Islamic studies in- and outside university in the Low Lands.

The growing multiculturalism of Western societies has also engendered calls for a decolonization of university curricula. Scholars have challenged the Eurocentric views prevailing in Western(ized) universities, and the lack of attention for alternative epistemologies. The latter has been particularly salient when it comes to the study of Islam. Scholars of Islam in the West are often divided on how to apprehend the study of this tradition. The latter is mostly represented in conflicting terms of incommensurability between a Western historico/socio-scientific epistemology, which is present at Western(ized) universities, and an Islamic epistemology, which is often represented outside formal universities in private Islamic knowledge centers. This dual track is frequently at play in European universities among (Muslim) students of Islamic studies, who tend to complement the academic knowledge they receive at formal university with Islamic perspectives gained in private knowledge institutes. Through ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with professors and students in these (extra)university settings in the Low Lands, this research proposal seeks to examine whether and how (a) professors and (b) students addres this epistemological multiplicity, both in- and outside formal univeristy, and how they try to make sense of Islam on the basis of these diverse traditions.
Date:1 Oct 2021 →  Today
Keywords:Multi-epistemic dialogue, Decolonization of knowledge, Islamic Studies
Disciplines:Cultural economics, economic sociology, economic anthropology, Ethnicity and migration studies, Study of Islam and quranic studies