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Integration of Islam in Europe: Categorical Remarks

Journal article
Authors Klas Grinell
Published in European Review
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 378-388
ISSN 1062-7987
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Pages 378-388
Language en
Subject categories Islamology, History of Ideas, History of Religions, Research on Europe, Theory of science


One of the most frequently described cultural borders in European public discourse is that between Europe and Islam. Further to which, there are many concerns as to whether Islam can be integrated into Europe. This article argues that it is impossible to understand the real and imagined problems addressed in the ‘integration of Islam in Europe’ debate using the categories ‘Islam’ and ‘Europe’. The question of categories is addressed through Bourdieu’s critique of journalism’s influence on research, leading to questions about suitable criteria of demarcation and meaningful terminologies. The route goes via classical theorists of science, such as Carnap, Popper and Kuhn, to Ricoeur, Said and Connolly. Some segments of the modern genealogy of the category of Islam in European studies are also touched upon. The article ends with a call for unpopular categories as an escape from the popular and political frames of debate.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-08