Is spirituality even possible? Following the footsteps of Ahmed Iqbal’s questioning in his last chapter entitled “Is Religion Possible?”, I ask the question about the possibility of spirituality in the modern nation-state. Building on the arguments of a number of scholars who have extensively theorized about the limitations and flaws of the modern nation-state in encompassing religious views and imaginaries, I shed light upon these limitations and how they can be traced in different Hijazi narratives written by pilgrims to perform the Hajj. A comparison between premodern and modern travelogues and manuscripts will bring to the fore how spirituality has changed, its tools, and conditions as well. How can one achieve spirituality under a different state architecture from the past where the theory of progress, in Hallaq’s terms, and technology permeate the discourse on spirituality today? Change, transformations, and ruptures contour this presentation. Through my work on Hijazi narratives, I provide concrete examples of the theoretical baggage and production on the nation-state, modernity, and the question of spirituality.
Student, Masters in Political Science and Cultural Studies, University of Pavia/ University of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, Agrigento, Italy
HIJAZ, SPIRITUALITY, RUPTURE, CHANGE, MODERN NATION-STATES, THEOLOGY, PROGRESS
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