Muslims on campus : religion, secularity, and the protestant legacy
- This dissertation explores religion and secularity in higher education through the case of Muslim students at an elite, residential, and secular campus on the West Coast of the United States. Based on three years of qualitative research including participant observation, ethnographic fieldwork, and interviews, I argue that the case of Muslim students at West Coast University (WCU) compels us to reconsider the standard narratives of religion in higher education. These narratives propose either that the academy is wholly secular and religion has been shut out (Marsden 1994); or the opposite, that religion does, indeed, have a place on campus because higher education now exists in a "post-secular" age (Jacobsen & Jacobsen 2008; Schmaulzbauer & Mahoney 2018). The latter perspective also contends that religion on campus not only survives but also often thrives, continuing to contribute to diversity and pluralism (Patel 2020). In my dissertation, I show via the case of WCU Muslim students that the story is more complex. As Muslim students are immersed in what might be considered a secular campus, they encounter religion generally and engage Islam particularly through Protestant features, which arbitrate being Muslim on campus. I thus characterize their campus context as Protestant-secular and explore its influence in terms of pluralism, privatization, and personalization on campus. Whether or not they do so knowingly, these Muslims students interact with and within Protestant-secularity as they experience being Muslim on campus and as they think about Islam. Their case tells us which ideas of religion thrive in American higher education and the kind of discursive structures on campus that make this possible. It also shows us how, for some religious communities, the place of religion on campus remains fraught in subtle but significant ways.
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Kelman, Ari Y, 1971-
|Kelman, Ari Y, 1971-
|Degree committee member
|Stanford University, Graduate School of Education
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Graduate School of Education.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2021.
- © 2021 by Abiya Ahmed
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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