Sadria, Modjtaba, editor. Multiple Modernities in Muslim Societies. Geneva: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 2009.
Is there any such thing as modernity in Islamic societies and, if so, what are the identifiable elements of this modernity? Here, a leading group of thinkers and practitioners from diverse theoretical backgrounds pose the question of what it means to be modern -- exploring notions of myriad 'multiple modernities' that operate beyond the Western singular definition of modern civilisation.
Representing a major new contribution to the debate about modernity, this volume offers new perspectives and ways of considering experiences of modernity in non-Western societies. Questions about which aspects of civilisation might be identified as the tangible elements of modernity are discussed, both within the built environment -- the cities, architecture, the material cultural heritage -- and within the lived environment -- in culture, politics and economics. The interplay between modernism, secularism and religion is explored and the view of the religious state and modernity as mutually exclusive is challenged.
While Muslim societies are chosen as the primary focus, the subject of the discussion has clear relevance to other cultural contexts and contributes to the wider debate on modernity. Rather than pose final solutions to the 'problem' of modernity within Muslim societies, the contributors instead create a space for the opening, questioning and recasting of the debate. This is an important contribution to the fields of Architecture, Cultural Studies, and Middle East and Islamic Studies.