What Alternatives to Secularisation? Analysis of Islam and Modernity between West and East
A brief overview of contexts other than West, however, seems to question this consolidated tradition of thought and the illusory inexorability of the secularisation process. Islam provides a cause for reflection on alternative analyses of modernisation and secularisation; the recent news reports -the apparent revival of fundamentalism and the creation of a self-appointed Islamic State at the gates of Europe, to name a few- exhort us to wonder whether these phenomena represent anomalies which requires innovative analytical tools, and if sociology is able, today, to provide them.
This work will explore the main reflections on secularisation and the relationship between Islam and modernity. I will present the responses and criticism of thinkers, from the Islamic world and beyond, to the above-mentioned concepts. The 1979 Islamic Revolution, which led to the fall of the Pahlavi monarchy and the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran, will be exposed as an emblematic case; a revolution regarded often as a confirmation of the dichotomy between a modern and secular West and an East that "has gone through no process of secularisation, because [...] Islam admits no separation between religion and State".
Finally, I will discuss one of the most illustrious figures of the Iranian history, Ali Shariati, and the interpretation he gave of the great phenomena of the last century, in an original and worthy of attention effort to combine Islam, sociology and modernity.