History and Contemporary Culture of Islam
Islam developed in specific societal, historic and social contexts. Today, neither Islamic historical research nor Islamic Studies can dispense with the reconstruction of these contexts. The study of early Islamic history and its sources requires a methodologically and theoretically grounded interpretation that incorporates the current status of historical and literary research.
Awareness of the common aspects, differences and complexities is essential for the reception of internal and external Islamic viewpoints.
Classic historical research can also be enriched by the inclusion of alternative perspectives in the form of “history from below”. This involves, for instance, research into the opinions of women and marginalized religious groups.
Genealogical interpretations are essential for understanding current debates. The focus is on lines of association and breaks with the past and the location of new ideas and social phenomena. In this context, the social and cultural sciences are of primary importance because their methods and theories are used to assess contemporary developments within Islam and the Islamic world as well as in Europe. This study area accordingly emphasizes the critical examination of historical contexts and current trends within Islamic society and culture. Analysis focuses on the contextualization of historical and present-day societal forms of Muslim life. Key topics and research questions from neighboring disciplines are also integrated.