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The Umma in Wider Perspective

Leader: Prof. James Piscatori, Durham University

Building on previous funding, this new two year project will work closely with experts and institutions in southeast Asia and the Arabian Peninsula in particular in order to consider the impact of migration on the emergence and the forming of the Muslim communities, and the Islamic thinking which has helped shape the body of communities which we now know as the (international) umma. It will explore the influence of ideas, and also local practices on the evolution of Islamic thought, and the impact of Muslim-specific exchanges between Arabia as heartland of Islam and southeast Asia as its new and commercially and culturally vibrant outpost. Migrationary influences are rarely considered in accounts of the rise of Islamist thought and its transnationalisation, and this project represents one of the few systematic efforts at the contextualisation as well as examination of how ideas were transmitted across the seas, who were the ‘messengers’ and who were the audiences – the ‘flock’.

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