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Islamic fundamentalism. Deconstructing a logic


Our time is witnessing a rise in religious fundamentalism. In environments in crisis of deep identity, this type of conviction can secure by giving benchmarks considered safe, immutable, truthful. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the proclamation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Islamic fundamentalist nebula, in its jihadist form, is concerned about its growing ability to attract Muslims and recruit newly converted non-Muslims, up to Europe.

But Muslim-inspired extremism, perceived through a dramatic actuality, is not limited to social and international conjunctures. It is part of a particular religious fundamentalism or, more precisely, a cluster of political-religious ideologies that, for more than a century, have circulated in the societies of the Muslim world, especially in its Arab part, in response to a series of internal and external crises.

Despite its relevance, socio-political analysis is therefore not able, on its own, to account for fundamentalist drift. The religious nature of the phenomenon cannot be avoided. It implies taking into account the logic inherent in theological reflection. This is what the specialists of Islam gathered around Michel Younès undertook to explain. They go beyond a superficial representation of this current of thought and the mobilizations it inspires. They help us to understand more deeply a religious and political phenomenon that has become crucial at the beginning of the 21st century.

Michel Younès, professor of Theology and Islamology at the Catholic University of Lyon, directs the Centre d’études des cultures et des religions (CECR). With contributions by : Samir Amghar, Maurice Borrmans, Malek Chaieb, Bénédicte du Chaffaut, Philippe Dockwiller, Ali Mostfa, Emmanuel Pisani, Haoues Seniguer, Bertrand Souchard et Michel Younès.

Preface by Ghaleb Bencheikh


Notre époque assiste à une montée des fondamentalismes religieux. Dans des milieux en crise d’identité profonde, ce type de conviction peut sécuriser en donnant des repères considérés comme sûrs, immuables, véridiques. Depuis les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 et la proclamation de l’État islamique d’Irak et du Levant, la nébuleuse fondamentaliste islamique, dans sa forme djihadiste, inquiète par sa capacité croissante à attirer des musulmans et à recruter des non-musulmans fraîchement convertis, jusqu’en Europe.

Or l’extrémisme d’inspiration musulmane, perçu à travers une actualité dramatique, ne se réduit pas à des conjonctures sociales et internationales. Il s’inscrit dans un fondamentalisme religieux particulier ou, plus exactement, dans un faisceau d’idéologies politico-religieuses qui, depuis plus d’un siècle, ont circulé dans les sociétés du monde musulman, surtout dans sa partie arabe, en réponse à une série de crises internes et externes.

Malgré sa pertinence, l’analyse sociopolitique n’est donc pas en mesure, à elle seule, de rendre compte de la dérive fondamentaliste. La nature religieuse du phénomène ne peut être éludée. Elle implique une prise en compte des logiques inhérentes à la réflexion théologique. C’est ce que les spécialistes de l’islam réunis autour de Michel Younès ont entrepris d’expliquer. Ils vont au-delà d’une représentation superficielle de ce courant de pensée et des mobilisations qu’il inspire. Ils nous aident à comprendre plus profondément un phénomène religieux et politique devenu crucial en ce début du XXIe siècle.

Michel Younès, professeur de théologie et d’islamologie à l’Université catholique de Lyon, dirige le Centre d’études des cultures et des religions (CECR). Ont contribué à cet ouvrage : Samir Amghar, Maurice Borrmans, Malek Chaieb, Bénédicte du Chaffaut, Philippe Dockwiller, Ali Mostfa, Emmanuel Pisani, Haoues Seniguer, Bertrand Souchard et Michel Younès.

Préface de Ghaleb Bencheikh

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