What would an Islamic modernism look like? The question is a pressing one, as cultures rebel against modernity in its almost exclusively European forms. Alev Cinar's groundbreaking examination of contemporary Turkey, which stands at the threshold of East and West, of religious and secular nationalism, explores modernity through daily practices and the social construction of identity and political agency in relation to nationalism, secularism, and Islam. Focusing on developments of the 1990s, Modernity, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey argues that Islamist ideology generated an alternative modernization project, which applied the same strategies and techniques as that of the modernizing state to produce and institutionalize its own version of an equally thorough nationalist program. Using local details and debates - including a fascinating discussion of veiling as symbolic of both the "liberation" of Western appearance and the Islamists' struggle to rescue their nation's culture - Cinar reveals modernity as a transformative intervention in bodies, places, and times. Bringing a much-needed critical theory approach to bear on the politics of an Islamic nation, Cinar's work introduces a new way of conceptualizing modernity based on the analysis of a non-Western context.
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(229mm x 140mm x 17mm)
University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
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Author Biography - Alev Cinar
Alev Cinar is assistant professor of political science at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.