Finding the object of study: Islamic studies in practice

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that, to understand where to find the study object ‘Islam’ and how to address it, researchers in Islamic studies need to be theoretically and methodologically aware of the importance and implications of power practices. By discussing enunciations associated with Islam, the problems with reification, the importance of power, the cognitive power of naming, and the semiotic resources mobilised by enunciations, the article proposes ways to operationalise grand scale theories by Talal Asad and Michel Foucault, with an especial focus on the understanding of semiotic resources. It also provides an account of the personal journey of the author while trying to relate constructively to the field for the last 30 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Religion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Islamic studies
  • methodology
  • power
  • research
  • theory


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