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Can Islam Be French?
Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State
John R. Bowen

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Bowen's study gives no quick and easy answers to this question; rather, it does an excellent job of examining the historical background and current developments that highlight the potentials for--as well as the challenges of--a pragmatic convergence between the norms and ideas of Islam and France."--Lee Ann Bambach, Journal of Law and Religion

"Bowen once again strengthens his position as one of the leading commentators on the French social landscape. What the study lacks in theoretical rigour is off set by a rigorous and vivid narration of the empirical material and by the author's extensive knowledge of the field. Together with Why the French Don't Like Headscarves, the English-speaking student of France and Islam will find here an excellent introduction."--Per-Erik Nilsson, Temenos

"Can Islam Be French? is an erudite and measured approach to one of the most fraught topics of our time."--Chantal Tetreault, POLAR


"John Bowen has written one of the most insightful books on Islam in France. He has done extensive field research in the sensitive suburbs of Paris and inside little-known Islamic institutions that are shaping the future of the religion in France. Bowen admirably shows how French Muslims are struggling not for minority status or multiculturalism, but for value pluralism, conciliating the secular Republican tradition while asserting a new faith community."--Olivier Roy, European University Institute, Florence

"Through a rich ethnography of normative practices such as pedagogies and legal reasonings, John Bowen has produced a rare and invaluable analysis of the making of a French Islam that owes as much to French legal and political constraints as to Muslims' engagement with the Islamic tradition. A required reading for scholars interested in religion and religious minorities in secularist states."--Malika Zeghal, University of Chicago

"Can Islam Be French? is utterly fascinating and engagingly written. Together with his previous book, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves, John Bowen has produced an unparalleled oeuvre on Islam in France."--Paul Silverstein, Reed College

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File created: 4/21/2017

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