chapter  3
38 Pages

Trends and Transformations in Contemporary Islamic Hermeneutics

This chapter explores that it is possible to conceive Muslim identity and intellectuality in terms that transcend the conventional labels, and that do not simply transpose Western categories or posit continuities with reactionary forms of 'Islamism'. Contemporary Islam is a transboundary, pluralistic phenomenon characterized by constant renegotiations of sacred meaning. In these exchanges, many Muslim women are finding increasing opportunities to act as catalysts of creative thought, and are at the same time reimagining their identities within the context of a new, pluralistic hermeneutic field. It suggests a need for direct engagement with contemporary Muslim intellectuals, for this study, women in particular, explores how cultural encounters are shaping their Muslim identities and approaches to the hermeneutics of Islam. Contemporary Islam contains a wide variety of interpretive possibilities from which Muslim women can draw as they reshape their self-understandings in light of new experiences.