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Islam and the Métropole

Hardman, Ben

Islam and the Métropole

A Case Study of Religion and Rhetoric in Algeria

Series: American University Studies - Volume 276

Year of Publication: 2009

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2009. XXIV, 261 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0271-4 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.510 kg, 1.124 lbs

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Book synopsis

Islam and the Métropole is an exploration of the colonial policies of France regarding Islam and the effects they had on religion in the early days of Algerian independence. Following the colonization of Algeria in 1830, the French authorities adopted a manipulative policy regarding the philosophy and practice of Islam. This was based on nineteenth-century theories of progress elucidated by Saint-Simonian thought and the philosophy of Auguste Comte, which posited religion as a symbolic language that could be geared toward political ends in the name of «progress». The ensuing use of Islamic language and a simultaneous effort to depict traditional Islam as backward while using the language of «progress» to legitimate colonial repression created a complex dissonance that was reflected in the Muslim opposition to colonial rule. This dissonance continued in the early days of Algerian independence as the government sponsored its own idiosyncratic version of «Progressive Islam» as the religion of state. The contradictions underlying this vision of religion were never sufficiently resolved, resulting in the violent failure of the state’s ideology.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Ben Hardman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi and has taught at the University of Louisville and the University of Tunis. He received his Ph.D. from Temple University.


American University Studies: Series 7, Theology and Religion. Vol. 276