Interpreting Islamic Movements in Thailand

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Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies


The vitality of Islamic movements has been an integral feature of recent global political change. This recent surge of Islamic nec-orthodox or fundamentalist movements has led some Western social scientists towards a reexamination of their basic presuppositions and concepts regarding modernization. Contemporary Islamic trends have seemed to controvert the claims of the modernization 'paradigm1 that are central to mainstream social science. The modernization paradigm employed by Western social scientists to explore non-Western societies rested upon premises Inherited from the eighteenth century Enlightment. It was assumed that modernization processes directed by economic and social transformations would ultimately lead to the demise of traditional Institutions Including religious institutions. Nineteenth century thinkers including Marx and Weber shared these premises and supposed that magic and religion would give way to scientific rationalism in some form.

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