The Resurgence of Islam The Spirit of the New Century
The last quarter of the twentieth century is a time of global transformation and reorientation, and in the early years of its fifteenth century, beginning in 1979-1980, Islam was in the midst of a new surge of dynamism. In this vigorous reaffirmation, there are elements of both continuity and change, and the resurgence is a product of both developments within global modern society and within the global Islamic experience.
The impact of the "modern transformation" on the Islamic world is often noted, but an equally important part of the Islamic resurgence is the impact on Islamic experiences of the "transformation of the modern" which has taken place in the final decades of the twentieth century. The nature of modernity itself has changed, with profound implications for all human societies. This can be seen in the changing nature of secularism, in the broader postmodern redefinitions of contemporary life, and in the transformation of radicalism.
Secularism has long been assumed to be an inherent part of the process of modernization. If this means simply that traditional religious concepts will be less important in a modernized society, it is valid. If, however, this assumption means that religion will no longer be a vital force in the political and social life of modernized people, it is clearly not valid. Even the most antireligious worldviews are now recognized as functioning as religious belief systems, and the struggle is between belief systems rather than between belief and unbelief. In addition, even religions traditionally defined exhibit significant signs of vitality in modernized societies as seen in the resurgence of the Christian churches in eastern Europe after decades of communist role.
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Publication information: Book title: Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World. Edition: 2nd. Contributors: John Obert Voll - Author. Publisher: Syracuse University Press. Place of publication: Syracuse, NY. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 289.
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