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Islam in the Making of a European Public Sphere (Europublicislam)
Start date: 01 Dec 2008, End date: 31 Mar 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

During the last three decades, Islam has gained visibility in European public spheres through new religious symbols, but as well as new public figures, men and women, pious and secular who carry Islam in European public life. Islamic entry in the public sphere, and the claims for religious visibility provoke a series of debates on gender equality, freedom of expression and cultural (civilisational) differences in European publics. EUROPUBLICISLAM sets itself the intellectual research agenda of bringing together different fields of knowledge and analysis of the transformative forces that appear in the contemporary meeting of Islam and Europe. It proposes to develop an innovative understanding of the sporadic and at times violent ways in which Islam intervenes in the making of the European public sphere. EUROPUBLICISLAM engages with the European scholarly agenda on migration, the construction of a European public sphere, and Islam. It aims at shifting the contemporary theorization of Islam in Europe away from the integration and security paradigms, and towards a new theory of dynamics of interaction and mutual change. A new research field is marked out in combining and transforming the contemporary theorizations of European public sphere and European Islam. EUROPUBLICISLAM proposes to study religious symbols, artistic cultural productions and public figures affecting the everyday politics of cultural discord. It aims to re-conceptualize the place of Islam in the making of a European public sphere. An innovative methodology is proposed to study the constellations , the assemblages that bring together cultural differences in proximity and in confrontation across national public spheres, following a transnational dynamics. EUROPUBLICISLAM will thus contribute to the production of innovative research on the making and imaging a European public sphere where transformative cultural and aesthetic mixes and thus political pluralism are taking place.
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