Ramadan appears as one of the most dynamic social phenomena of our age, whether it is considered as a time period, a realm of religious experience, a cultural practice or an area of social interaction. Its dynamism, growing out of historical, cultural and religious sources, has extended to take on a much broader social significance by nourishing new practices of communication, interaction, solidarity and purification. Ramadan is an enriching source for many aspects of social life that necessitates rethinking of the contrast between modernity and tradition in the present era. It is a living system, constantly changing and developing along with its practitioners, and as such not only creates but also exists through patterns of globalization in the 21st century along with its extensive history.
Ramadan, indicating a new beginning each year, is as an area of study embracing many authentic questions that deserve to be discussed through different theories and approaches of the social sciences and humanities. Subject to these guidelines, Ümraniye Municipality will host an international symposium from 13th to 15th of July, 2012.
The symposium will be conducted in Turkish and English. The papers can be submitted from within the fields of the social sciences, humanities and religious sciences. The objectives of the symposium are: to evaluate Ramadan as a modern social practice flourishing through the experiences of different cultures; to portray how Ramadan works as a social network; to make a critical analysis of the ways in which Ramadan is being Orientalized through its historicization and exclusion from daily life; to comparatively explore the experience of fasting with the practices in different religions; to encourage new studies on Ramadan in the social sciences; to examine the visual, auditory and textual representations of Ramadan as a scientific phenomenon from the perspectives of different disciplines; to study the political, psychological, and spiritual impacts of Ramadan on different social classes and groups; to question Ramadan's effect on identity formation of individuals; to distinguish constants and variables by means of comparing the Ramadan experiences of traditional and modern Islamic communities; to evaluate the scholarly developments influencing the religious provisions of Ramadan and fasting; and to compare the perspectives of different disciplines on the meanings of fasting.
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