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Expressing Post-Secular Citizenship

A Madrasa, an Ethic and a Comprehensive Doctrine

Zahraa McDonald

According to Habermas, the contemporary public sphere is post-secular. In other words, the continuing presence of religious communities within a secular society is indisputable. However, the significance of this is not entirely clear, despite intensive discussion by social scientists, journalists, policymakers and politicians regarding the role of religion in the public sphere. Understanding contemporary religious phenomena requires serious academic and public engagement.
Drawing on theoretical approaches from sociology (Max Weber), philosophy (John Rawls) and religious studies (Abdulkader Tayob), this book analyses empirical data from the study of a madrasa in South Africa in order to explore the important question of how individuals may engage in the public sphere as members of religious communities.
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Chapter Three: Doctrine in Islamic education

Extract

CHAPTER THREE

Doctrine in Islamic education

3.1  Introduction

The notion that religious views have no place in public debate (see Mendieta & Vanantwerpen 2011: 1) hamstrings the process of conceptualising individuals’ engagement in the public sphere as members of religious communities. The notion moreover negates the post-secular public sphere. It seeks to ignore the presence of religious communities together with the relevance of their conceptions of life for public opinion. Conceptualising individuals’ engagement in the public sphere as members of religious communities is an acknowledgement of their membership of society, recognising their citizenship. It constitutes a contribution to expressions of post-secular citizenship.

The first chapter proposes the use of John Rawls’s construct comprehensive doctrine for conceptualising individuals’ engagement in the public sphere as members of religious communities in plural societies. Chapter Two constructs a framework for identifying and describing individuals’ association with comprehensive doctrines drawing on the construct religious ethic. In this chapter the framework is applied to Islamic education connected to the Deobandi education movement. ← 33 | 34 →

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