The Case for Studying Non-Muslim Islams

Jesper Petersen, Anders Ackfeldt

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


In this article we define a new concept that has not previously been theorized: non-Muslim Islam. We argue that theories and methodologies within Islamic studies produce a hierarchy between Muslim and non-Muslim productions of Islam, prioritizing the first. However, this article highlights that Islam may be produced for other purposes than belief in a deity; Islam may for example be important in producing non-Muslim identity, politics, aesthetics, narratives, etc. We therefore argue the case for studying non-Muslim Islam, because: 1) Non-Muslim Islams play an important role in Euro-American societies and are therefore interesting in and of themselves; 2) Non-Muslim Islams have a significant impact on Muslim Islams, and thus, we will not understand Muslim Islams without a clear understanding of non-Muslim Islams; 3) It is a way of insisting on an etic research epistemology. The article ends with a discussion of ethical and strategic benefits of adopting this approach.
Sidor (från-till)241-259
Antal sidor19
TidskriftMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Tidigt onlinedatum2022
StatusPublished - 2023

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Religionsvetenskap
  • Religionshistoria


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