Associate Professor, New Social Research Qadir Ali

42000 €

Formations of heresy: Ahmadiyyat and exclusion in modern Islam

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Yksivuotinen

This research project develops the first-ever theoretical framework for analyzing modern religious heresy and applies it to study the Ahmadi community, which has been declared heretical in modern Islam globally. The project builds on my unique and extensive experience in sociological study of heresy, particularly of Ahmadis around the world. My application seeks individual funding for one year to allow me to take research leave from my teaching and administrative responsibilities in the University of Tampere and publish this research. The project will result in a book published by a world-class academic press in USA or UK. In this book I analyze what made this hereticization of Ahmadiyyat in Pakistan possible and what that hereticization means for understanding Islam today. Centered on Pakistan, where Ahmadiyyat has been declared heretical by constitutional amendment, the book includes analyses of Finland, Canada, and South Africa to show how modern heresy is global. The analysis builds on the new theory of epistemic governance being developed in Tampere, combined with a genealogy to assess the conditions of possibility that led to the formation of the Ahmadis as “heretical.” The book probes sociological, political, psychological, global, religious, and legal conditions of possibility for this declaration of heresy. The concluding chapter explores how the framework can be used to undertake a similar approach to heresy in other domains, including in the sciences.