Mapping Religious and Civil Society

Prof. Marcia Hermansen
Islamic Studies
Department of Religious Studies
Loyola University

In this session, Professor Hermansen discusses a new model developed for American society, which maps out the religious and civic inclinations from a sociologic perspective. After presenting the grid in its original intent, she embarks on plugging in Muslim groups throughout history using this model. Mentioning the Ismaeli sect of the Shiite, mainstream Sunnis, Sufis, modern-day political-Islamic movements (Muslim Brotherhood), progressives and more, Professor Hermansen finds a fascinating way to breakdown the diversity of Muslims in the past and today through this “work of progress”. She stresses that groups can shift over time, and some may combine if one can capture a strong vision. In the after-lecture discussion period, a lively discussion is carried out on the specific positioning of Sufis and this grid’s feasibility for other religions.