Modernity, Post-modernity and the Muslim World
The question about religion and modernisation may be designated “Weberian”, because Max Weber developed a most coherent approach to the analysis of modernity, focusing on the religious element in the major civilisations of humanity. Around 1900 he started to write about the economic consequences of religion, which theme by the end of his life in 1920 had grown into his general sociology of religion (Weber, 1993). Weber dealt only with one aspect of modernity, namely economic development or affluence. Today the majority of Muslim societies are still underperforming on economic modernisation, although the institutions of the market economy have arrived in the Muslim world. Table 1.1 indicates a negative correlation between affluence and the size of the Muslim population.