Understanding Muslim Identity Rethinking Fundamentalism By Gabriele Marranci (Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 242 pages.)

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Adis Duderjia



Gabrielle Marranci seeks to shift the analyses of “Islamic fundamentalism/
radicalism” discourses away from those focusing on cultural and political
essentialism, scripturalism, and social determinism and toward that of
exploring the dynamics of radicalization by examining the central role of
emotions on identity formation. His main thesis is that fundamentalism
must be understood as a process linked to identity and identification (not
a thing) and that theories which take into account the crucial role of emotions,
feelings, and the environment can explain fundamentalism, including
Islamic fundamentalism, more accurately then social determinist
and/or cultural constructivist theories can (pp. 77-80). The author thus sets
out to “engage with an incredibly expanding academic literature [on
Islamic fundamentalism] that tends to treat religious fundamentalism on
the basis of culturalist or social theory discourse” (p. 153). He uses the
same analytical lens adopted in his Jihad beyond Islam (London: Berg,
2006) ...

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