What Is Happening in the Islamic World? An Attempt at a Conceptualization

This round table addressed the question of research methodologies for those trends now observable in the Islamic world, as well as conceptual approaches for understanding current developments there. Such frameworks as Islamic reformation, a neomodern age, and the search for a political Islamic identity were proposed. Participants did not agree about the relationship between Islamic fundamentalism and modernity. Some of them considered fundamentalism as potentially a modernist movement, and others saw it only as antimodernist and archaic.

Religious Freedom as a Marker of Modernity: The Imperial Bequest

Representing a translation of the keynote address delivered at the international conference “The Varieties of Russian Modernity II: Religion, State, and Approaches to Pluralism in Russian Contexts,” this article relates some of the key findings of Werth’s recent monograph, The Tsar’s Foreign Faiths: Toleration and the Fate of Religious Freedom in Imperial Russia (Oxford University Press, 2014). It posits that religious freedom represents one major marker of modernity and goes on to recount the complex process by which religious freedom appeared in the years leading up to World War I.

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