The Answers of Applied Islamology

Theory, Culture and Society 24 (2):21-38 (2007)


The starting point of the article is the archive, characterized as a query about the future, and Foucault’s call for a discourse that provides a dual articulation of the history of individuals on the subconscious of culture and the historicity of the latter on individual subconsciousness. The archive has not been read as such either by exponents of the Islamic tradition or by modern scholarship in the Orientalist tradition, thus the first ambitious task of applied Islamology is to deconstructively analyse the foundational discourse of an imaginary that, since the Middle Ages, has opposed Arab-Islamic consciousness to a Jewish and Christian consciousness. Applied Islamology also explores the ‘universal values’ that were invented in the West and then seen as transferable to all cultures worldwide. The public is deprived of the conceptual tools necessary to explore both this imaginary and the West’s ‘universal’ values. The social frameworks of knowledge regarding Islamic studies are in operation as much in the West as in Muslim contexts.

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