Externalizing Islam : manipulation of Islam's inner and outer dimensions and the fragmentation of justice and piety
Cole, Jeremy Burr
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This thesis attempts to locate the roots of extremism inside and outside the Islamic Tradition, which are caused in part by the modern world-view, which prioritizes the external over the internal, thereby generating a false dichotomy between Islam’s esoteric and exoteric dimensions. When in harmony, the esoteric and exoteric dimensions of Islam open a forgiving middle path for its followers, and close the door to extremism in all of its forms. Disregarding the relationship between these elements in the Islamic tradition can lead to inaccurate and extreme manifestations and constructions of Islam. As evidence, this thesis will analyze the broad notion of the ‘Islamic Tradition,’ Sufism in the Ottoman Empire, and the concept of hijra. In each case an understanding of the dialectical relationship between Islam’s inner and outer dimensions helps to reconstruct the peaceful, compassionate intentions of the Islamic Tradition that has been so badly damaged in modern times.