Messianism and Sociopolitical Revolution in Islam

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: SCAS, Thunbergssalen Linneanum, Thunbergsvägen 2, Uppsala
  • Lecturer: Said Amir Arjomand, Guest of the Principal, SCAS. Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology, Stony Brook University, NY
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Sandra Maria Rekanovic
  • Seminarium

This report on my work in progress on a second book on revolution follows a new theoretical approach to the sociology of revolution offered in Revolution: Structure and Meaning in World History ( University of Chicago Press, 2019) with regard to the motivation to revolutionary action. This approach shifts the focus of analysis from the putatively general causes of revolutions to the specific motivation and consequences of revolutionary social action in historical and comparative perspective. Within this framework, the companion volume I am now working covers major instances of Islamicate revolutionary transformation beginning with Muhammad’s constitutive revolution and the rise of Islam in seventh-century Arabia, followed by three cases of medieval and one early modern Mahdist revolutions. The presentation will briefly outline my conclusions regarding the Fatimid revolution in North Africa at the beginning of the tenth century and on the Berber revolution of Mahdi Ibn Tumart in Southwestern Maghreb in the mid-twelfth century. However, it will mainly focus on the persistence and radical transformation of the millennial motivation in contemporary revolutionary movements, notably in the Shi`ite Messianism in occupied Iraq and the Sunni reaction to it in the form of DA`ESH/ISIS. Read more: