Finnish Studies on Islam: Themes and Approaches
In recent decades, Finnish research on Islam has started to expand rapidly; in the process, it has also widened to disciplines which previously did not necessarily focus on the study of religions. The article provides an ovewview of the range of these studies, concluded by Arabists, comparative religionists, theologians, anthropologists, and social scientists, with a close focus on the central themes and main methodological approaches used in these studies. The article is divided into four parts. In order to give some historical background to recent studies on Islam, the first part takes a quick look at the explorations of Georg August Wallin and the social-anthropological studies of Edvard Westermarck and Hilma Granqvist. Contemporary research is divided according to its main topic of interest into the following three parts: studies on the foundational source of Islam and subsequently theological questions; studies on Muslims in Muslim populated countries; and studies on Muslims in Europe and Finland. In the concluding remarks, the article considers some of the challenges posed by the current social and political situation for research on Islam and Muslims.
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