Keywords: Islamic studies, Qur’anic studies, orthodoxy, Islamist, fundamentalism, capitalism, jihad, McWorld, Political Islam, radicalism, religion, tradition, modernity, postmodernity, globalisation, democracy, local, global, science, technology, epistemology, Religious Studies, Social Sciences, anthropology, sociology, history, philosophy, meaning, power, reason, belief, ideology, Islamic Revolution, contemporary Islam.


‘The devil hides in the details'

The title of this essay announces three major fields of enquiry and critical analysis: present-day Islam; the living tradition dating back to the emergence of the Islamic fact between 610-632 and 661; and globalisation. My objective in including under the same critical scrutiny themes as complex as these is to set apart, in every possible manner, the implicits that are lived but Unthought in each of these three areas of individual existence and historical action, from the explicits that are problematised, thought for the first time or rethought, in the perspectives opened up by the new phenomenon of globalisation.

For methodological and epistemological reasons which will become apparent in the course of the exposé, I will begin by defining the new context created by the forces of globalisation and then tackle the questions of present-day Islam and Islamic tradition.

This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in Farhad Daftary ed.), Intellectual Traditions in Islam, London: I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2000, pp. 179-221.