The Islamization of Science: Four Muslim Positions Developing an Islamic Modernity

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This thesis analyses a contemporary debate on the Islamization of science. The four persons discussed here are individuals belonging to a Muslim intellectual elite: the French convert and physician Maurice Bucaille, the Persian-American scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr, the British-Pakistani author Ziauddin Sardar and the Arab-American scholar Ismail Raji al-Faruqi. They represent four positions in the contemporary understanding of Islam and they all have an influence among other Muslim intellectuals. The debate on the role and function of a specifically Islamic form of science has intensified during, the last 25 years. It can be seen as a part of a broader discussion, where the overall question concerns the function of Islam in relation to modernity. This thesis presents their perspectives on the Islamization of science and points at central elements and patterns in their respective positions. From a theoretical point of view, this thesis is both a study of the history of certain ideas, and an analysis founded on methods within the social sciences. The most central concept in the analysis is "discourse". The word is here used as a technical term denoting the practice that shapes different statements, a practice concerned with power. "Islam" is seen as one such discourse: a field where many Islams fight to become the One Islamic tradition. Different trends are engaged in struggle, and the successful contender becomes, for the time being, the established tradition, until it is challenged by yet another trend. In the analysis, it is shown how the four positions attempt to find their respective ways of acheiving a balance between modern science and Islam, and thereby shape a distinctly Islamic modernity.


  • Leif Stenberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History of Religions


  • Världsreligioner (ej kristendom), Non-Christian religions, tradition, Quran, Religion, Ziauddin Sardar, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Maurice Bucaille, Ismail al-Faruqi, modernity, discourse, Islam, Islamization of science
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1996 Sep 20
  • Almqvist & Wiksell International
Print ISBNs91-22-01723-2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1996-09-20 Time: 10:15 Place: Palaestra, Nedre salen External reviewer(s) Name: [unknown], [unknown] Title: [unknown] Affiliation: [unknown] --- The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Islamology (015017031), Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (016526301)