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Locating Religion in South Asia: Islamicate Definitions and Categories

Issue: Vol 10 No. 2 (2014)

Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies



The category of Islam as a religion—as defined within religious studies discourses—informs Islamic studies across disciplines, even as it appears in fields that may not have methodological, theoretical, or topical overlaps with the study of religion. By locating Islamicate, South Asian definitions of religion as analogous, related, and, in some cases, influences to Euro American definitions of religion, this article troubles the relationship between the study of religion, definitions of religion, and non-European, non Christian actors. This essay contributes to the growing body of literature asking how and when native definitions of categories of (or like) religion have been incorporated or ignored within the broadest definitions and specifically how Islamicate texts contribute to the history of the study of religion.

Author: Ilyse R Morgenstein Fuerst

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