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Being Muslim in South AsiaDiversity and Daily Life$
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Robin Jeffrey and Sen Ronojoy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092063.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

Imagining Religion

Imagining Religion

Portraits of Islamic Consciousness in Pakistan

(p.42) Chapter Three Imagining Religion
Being Muslim in South Asia

Riaz Hassan

Oxford University Press

Religious consciousness is a symbolic universe that gives expressions to deeply held religious beliefs. A product of interpretative communities of the past and present, this universe provides the convictions and ideals that act as primary texts for indexing social reality. Using empirical data on how Pakistani Muslims imagine Islam this chapter will aim to provide portraits of religious consciousness. The empirical evidence demonstrates a conflict of conscience among Pakistani Muslims. It shows a dominant mindset characterized by self-sufficiency of Islamic texts and an attitude towards them that is literalist, anti-rational and anti-interpretive co-existing with a pervasive sense of common humanity, kindness and a genuine concern for the welfare of the underprivileged. The chapter explores the development of this mindset and how it compensates for the feelings of alienation, powerlessness, economic and technological underdevelopment and concludes with observations on its implications for the current dilemmas facing Pakistan and other Muslim countries.

Keywords:   religious belief, Pakistan, co-existence, literal interpretation, alienation, conflicts of conscience

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