Jihad: Between Theory and Practice

Dr. Jelle Bruning has been awarded a seed grant for "Jihad: Between Theory and Practice," a workshop that will discuss the influence of jihad-related ideologies on the movement of people and the formation of networks. Granted: €5000 (September 2015).

Project Coordinator:
Dr. Jelle Bruning (LIAS - Arabic Studies)

Modern discussions on jihad and the spread and defence of Muslim ideologies tend to focus on current issues, such as Muslim foreign fighters, militant Islam in Europe, and extreme violence endorsed by Muslim groups in the Middle East and North Africa. Yet, such modern issues stand in a long tradition of which elements, such as the foreign fighter phenomenon, date back to the early centuries of Muslim history. As early as the eighth century C.E., Muslims are recorded to have travelled far in order to participate in various forms of jihad ‒ violent and non-violent, directed against Muslim as well as non-Muslim authorities. The places where they gathered (for example, coastal cities in Egypt and Palestine, the Muslim-Christian frontier zones in modern south-eastern Turkey and on the Iberian Peninsula) often formed important hubs in personal and scholarly networks.

This workshop discusses the influence of jihad-related ideologies on the movement of people and the formation of networks. It approaches this subject diachronically and from three different disciplines, each represented by one expert: history, religion, and archaeology. Much attention will be paid to the relationship between ideology and practice and the role of religious authorities. Sub-topics that will be addressed are: the development of jihad-related ideologies and their spread and reception; the relationship between jihad and the pursuit of other matters, such as religious knowledge and financial profit; the form of relevant networks, their members and their maintenance; the practical and infrastructural organization of jihad and the role of religious and political authorities.

A program will be posted shortly.

Last Modified: 16-02-2016