On being religious : patterns of religious commitment in Muslim societies
Date of Issue2005
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Using the analytical framework developed by the Berkley research programme in religion and society, this paper will report findings from a comparative study of Muslim piety of over 6000 respondents from Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Kazakhstan. The findings show similarities as well as significant differences in patterns of religious commitments among the respondents in the study. This is probably the first attempt to compare and "map out" Muslim religiosity in Muslim countries. The first part of the paper will report the findings and the analysis by gender, life cycle, education and social position. The second part of the paper will discuss the findings using analytical insights from Emile Durkheim and Mary Douglas' sociology of religion. In this section, the paper will also compare selected aspects of Chirstian and Muslim piety and offer sociological explanations of the significant differences in 'experiential religiosity" between Christians and Muslims. The Christian piety data will be drawn from primary and secondary sources. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the sociological implications of these findings for social political and religious trajectories of Muslim countries.
RSIS Working Papers ; 80/05
Nanyang Technological University