The future of the study of Islam and Muslims in the Nordic and Scandinavian region: A Swedish reading of Tidsskrift for Islamforskning

Göran Larsson

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With classical orientalists, such as Frants Buhl (1850-1932) and Johannes Pedersen (1883-1977), and contemporary scholars like Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, Jørgen S. Nielsen and Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Denmark has a proud history when it comes to the study of religion, including Islam and the wider Muslim world (on Buhl, see Læssøe 1979; on Pedersen, see Løkkegaard 1982). Besides these scholars, it is also possible to find others in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science and media studies who have made, and continue to make, strong contributions to the study of Islam and Muslims (cf. e.g. Tidsskrift for Islamforskning 7(1) 2013). Denmark has also produced a number of strong female scholars, such as Garbi Schmidt, Lene Kühle, Kate Østergaard, Nadia Jeldtoft, Birgitte Schepelern Johansen, Jytte Klausen and Catharina Raudvere (who is Swedish, but holds a professorship in the History of Religions at the University of Copenhagen). Hence it is evident that the study of Islam and Muslims is thriving in Denmark. That said, however, it is also apparent that the academic study of minority religions (not least Islam) is often perceived as a controversial topic. From this point of view Denmark is not unique: studying Islam and Muslims generally causes debate and sometimes even tension within both academia and the public sphere. One important instrument for countering simplistic and populist conclusions about (...)

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/tifo.v10i1.24869

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