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Europe’s identity crisis, Islam in Europe, and the crisis of European secularity

Mavelli, Luca (2015) Europe’s identity crisis, Islam in Europe, and the crisis of European secularity. In: Tottoli, Roberto, ed. Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 185-197. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:42809)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
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Abstract

This chapter explores the connection between the crisis of European identity and the growing presence of Muslims in Europe and contends that this crisis may be conceptualised as one of secularity. In order to advance this argument, the chapter first provides a set of empirical illustrations of the relationship between Europe’s identity crisis and Islam in Europe. It then focuses on an often heard and seemingly contradictory discourse which celebrates Islamic spiritual vigour as opposed to Europe’s moral decay and at the same time condemns the Islamic incapacity to synthesize reason and faith, thus placing Islam outside the civilizational boundaries of Europe. Through the articulation of a genealogy that runs through Descartes, Kant, Durkheim and Weber, the chapter suggests that this discourse is symptomatic of the crisis of a secular identity that, struggling to establish itself as a self-sufficient foundation of knowledge and morality, projects its contradictions onto the Muslim ‘Other’. The chapter concludes by discussing the possibility of moving beyond the fragilities and limits of Europe’s secular tradition by embracing a postsecular language of identity and solidarity that, cutting across the categories of the secular and the religious, may help us conceive new forms of encounter between Europe and its Muslim population.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahai Faith. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Luca Mavelli
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 16:47 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2019 04:06 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42809 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mavelli, Luca: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6163-2971
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