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Within, Without: Dialogical Perspectives on Feminism and Islam

By Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Fatima Husain


This paper offers an ontological and literary review of Muslim women’s religious practices across the Muslim ummah, in considering the development of an epistemology of faith and feminism within the Islamic schema. Our aim is to explore the diverse constructions of autopoiesis in reference to feminism, faith and spirituality in relation to Islam as both a religious and a cultural phenomenon. To this end, global examples of faith-based practice are reviewed, where issues of dominant and minority cultures and values refer to how Muslim faith practices are enacted within the local context. The authors use a dyadic, auto-ethnographic methodology to explore their own personal, political and spiritual positioning as feminists from a Muslim, immigrant and secular British background. The significance of women’s spiritual and feminist dimensions in the context of faith, nationhood and embodiment of ideological positions are analysed. Additionally, religious, cultural and geo-political implications of feminism and Islam are considered regarding identity, culture and tradition, and religious resurgence, together with forms of feminist resistance to religious doctrine. Finally, the search by women for spiritual authority and authenticity is discussed

Topics: Godgeleerdheid, Islam, Muslim, feminist, faith, auto-ethnographic
Year: 2011
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