Epistemological shifts in knowledge and education in Islam: A new perspective on the emergence of radicalization amongst Muslims

Sabic-El-Rayess, Amra

I theorize that the idea of knowledge and education has shifted in Islam from an inclusive and rational search for all knowledge to a narrowed focus on religious knowledge, void of rationality. By synthesizing literature on education and knowledge in Islam, this study identifies three shifts in the cultural history of Islamic education. I argue that those shifts in what was deemed valuable knowledge have played a significant role in the emergence of radicalization today. The study shows that once the social world of Islam destabilized, the sense of belonging and sense making became inward and less reflexive as compared to that of early Muslims. Belief became privileged over the rationality mechanisms that had previously formed Islamic endeavors. I demonstrate that a decline in intellectual and scientific production followed, allowing extremists to skew Islam’s narrative by putting forward an idealized version of the Islamic caliphate divorced from rationality.


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Also Published In

International Journal of Educational Development

More About This Work

Academic Units
Education Policy and Social Analysis
Published Here
January 10, 2020


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