One major debate that has been frequently reprised over the past century of scholarship on Islam in Southeast Asia has been that of the extent of “Shi`ite influence” on the region. Often more polemical than academic, this discourse has in general generated far more heat than light and has had the effect of obscuring more nuanced understandings of Muslim belief and practice, as well as the legacies of internal Muslim pluralism in the region. In an attempt to reboot discussions on this important, but underdeveloped aspect of Southeast Asian Islam, this workshop proposes to move “beyond Shi`ism” in a formal sense to bring together research on various manifestations of religious experience and expression centred on the image of the prophet Muhammad and his family. This is what we refer to here as “Alid piety”. Following critical examinations of Shi`ism and other conceptual categories involved in such work, the workshop will be arranged around panels of papers addressing a number of specific themes, including:
1) The historical dynamics that have brought “Shi`ism” and other forms of “Alid piety” to Southeast Asia
2) The various form that “Alid piety” takes in the region and how these forms emerge and evolve
3) Reflections of “Alid piety” on literature, art and material culture in Southeast Asia
4) The impact of the Iranian Revolution and the politicization of “Alid piety” on the development of Islam in Southeast Asia?
5) Expressions of “Alid piety” relevant to contemporary culture and politics in the Muslim majority countries of the region.
This workshop is designed to facilitate the production of an edited volume addressing issues of the complexity of Islamic thought and practice in Southeast Asia with particular reference to the modalities of Muslim thought and practice centered on the image of the prophet Muhammad and his immediate family. This work will address a significant gap in existing scholarship while also engaging with developing conversations on internal Muslim pluralism.
Paper proposals should include a title and a 500-word abstract.
A short biography should also be submitted on the attached form by 12 October 2009.
Please visit the following link for the Paper Proposal Submission Form.
Please submit and address all applications and enquiries to Miss Sharon Ong (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Successful applicants will be notified by 20 October 2009 and will be required to send in a draft paper (6000-8000 words) by 30 November 2009.
Based on the quality of proposals and availability of funds, partial or full funding will be granted to successful applicants. Funding will only cover air travel to Singapore by the most economical means and lodging for the duration of the conference.
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