Islam and Globalisation. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. 25th Congress of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants (UEAI) Naples, September 8 – 12, 2010
The article is devoted to the study of the relationship between existential fulfilment as one of the indicators of psychological well-being, and religiosity among Russian citizens practicising Islam and Buddhism. We also compare existential fulfillment of Muslims and Buddhists and Russians from the general population. We understand existential fulfilment, based on A. Lӓngle’s existential analytical approach, as the personal realization of the four fundamental existential motivations (FMs). We first briefly consider how the main themes of the FMs are reflected in the world outlook and practice of both Islam and Buddhism. In an empirical study on a sample of Muslims (N = 181) and Buddhists (N = 131) we used the original Russian version of the Test of Existential Motivation and an “objective” indicator of religious involvement: a survey form for assessing religiosity level includes questions about the frequency of religious practices. A positive correlation was found between existential fulfilment and religiosity. Regression analysis showed that religiosity is a significant predictor of existential fulfilment, independent of the gender, age, place of residence of respondents and the method used for data collection. The level of realization of the 2nd FM, concerning emotionality and value of life, among Muslim participations, was significantly higher than among Buddhist participants. In the levels of realization of other existential fundamental motivations and in the general indicator of existential fulfilment, no significant differences were found between the representatives of two religious groups. Comparison of existential fulfilment indicators for Muslims and Buddhists with similar indicators for a neutral Russian sample from the general population demonstrated that the level of realization for all fundamental existential motivations was significantly higher for believers. Further studies are needed for testing our results in other countries and using representatives of other religions.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the Islamic factor in political processes in Africa. The author analyzes whether the conceptof «re-Islamization» can be applied to modern African realities and if it covers the entire African space or may be applied only toits part. The article reviews the Muslim countries of Africa in the context of the concept of dependent development and thephenomena of «Liminality» and «re-Islamization» in the countries and societies of Africa in the polarization of the Muslim spiritualelite on the scale of minimalism-maximalism. The author characterizes the Islamic States and Islamic international organizations onthe African continent, provides information about the spread of Islam and the number of Muslims in Africa. The author describesthe crises of elites, that has spread over almost all the countries of the Islamic area. This crisis stimulated the split within the localIslamic communities (Umma). Religious and ideological platforms of minimalism and maximalism appeared. After 2001 andparticularly after the events of the Arab Spring of 2011-2012 many Islamic countries of Africa found themselves in the transitionperiod (liminality) and even re-Islamization.
Today the concept of “Islamic Reformation” acts as a universal framework for a large number of research projects within the field of Islamic and Muslim studies. This theory, mediated by Western modernization theory, claims a comprehensive understanding of Islamic reality and thus attracts many researchers. However, this universality results in a lack of attention to some important areas, which stimulates criticism from experts on Islam. The aim of this article is to identify and characterize the main approaches to understanding the phenomenon of “Islamic reformation.” There are three different groups of researchers who accept the concept’s validity, among whom there is no unity regarding its content. The first group talks about “Islamic reformation” as a positive political program, while the second connects it exclusively with the negative phenomenon of Islamic radicalism. The third group does not engage in polemics about “Islamic reformation,” but rather consistently seeks to prove the concept’s inadequacy in explaining Islamic realities and to offer alternative research models. A detailed consideration of a number of works demonstrates several different approaches within one discourse on “Islamic reformation”.
Arabs, like all nomadic peoples, assigned a cruical role to the issues of war, fair fight, and personal generosity. Wars and battles were part of the sign-symbolic system in the space of the ancient Arabic culture, which was dominated by the will for to defence. Accordingly, weapons were involved in this system, being part of several cultural spheres: the sphere of primary production and livelihood, humanitarian sphere, and as well, as an integral part of war, of the socionormative culture.
It is to be considered that it is in the Arab culture where Islam was born, and in the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet such things as war and weapons also found a place, which underlines the deep connection of religious culture and the weaponry complex in the worldview of the early medieval Arabs.