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Prof. Abdulkader Tayob

Former member of the International Faculty

Research Chair at the University of Cape Town (Islam, African Publics and Religious Values) 

Abdulkader Tayob (Phd, Temple University, 1989) currently holds a Research Chair at the University of Cape Town (Islam, African Publics and Religious Values). He has published on Islam in Africa and modern Islamic thought. His work has traced the discursive formation of mosques, rituals, and political and legal views among contemporary Muslims. His most recent books are Religion in Modern Islamic Discourse (Hurst/Columbia University Press, 2009) and Schools and Education in Europe and South Africa (Waxmann, 2011), edited with Inga Niehaus and Wolfram Weiße. He is currently leading a project on Religion Education in South Africa. Email: Abdulkader.Tayob@uct.ac.za; Website: www.cci.uct.ac.za/faf/tayob 

Religion/Islam in Public Life: He has been working on specific developments in Islam and the public sphere. These have included contextual studies on heritage sites, education, rituals and politics. Now, he wants to use these results to reflect on the wider implications of these developments for understanding the meaning and role of Islam in public life in particular, and religion in general. 

He wants to look closely at two self-identification terms (tajdid and da’wa) to explore an answer to these questions. Tajdid refers to a historical tradition in Islam which suggests a periodic renewal of the faith. It is a leitmotiv of returning to the original teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims draw inspiration from the origins of Islam to launch movements of renewal. Da’wa is an equally important concept for the resurgence of Islam in the 20th century. The word means a call or invitation, and refers to the act of calling humanity to God and to salvation. The word has been used by Islamic revival movements since the 1920s to identify their main objective of calling Muslims and others to return to God. Movements of conversion, both internally and externally directed, see their main objective in da’wa.

  • What does Islamic Resurgence mean for modern society and state?
  • What is the form that resurgence takes under the impact of tajdid and da’wa in modern societies?
  • What are the public life implications of tajdid and da’wa in various forms of Islamic resurgence?