World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Mouvements Messianiques dans l'Islam Contemporain/Messianic Movements in Contemporary Islam (338) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: THU 22, 11.30 am-1.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Sciences Po (France)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Jean-Pierre Filiu

· NOT_DEFINED language: English/ Français

· NOT_DEFINED description: A new genre of apocalyptic literature is published today in the Muslim world. It borrows heavily from the Book of Revelation and it focuses on Christian, rather than Jewish Zionism. But the messianic groups that rebelled in Mecca or in Najaf in 2007 have their own narratives and follow strict sectarian lines. And jihadist leaders are tempted to use the doomsday propaganda to promote their own agendas. The purpose of this panel is to address this phenomenon from the social sciences point of view and from different international approaches, in order to highlight the process of constitution of a ''new'' religious corpus, to question the ambivalence of the current popularity of this literature, and to underline the differences between Sunni and Shia narratives.

Chair: Luz Gomez García (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Paper presenter: Reidar Visser (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs), “Messianist tendencies in post-2003 Iraq”
Reidar Visser will describe how different messianic movements have flourished in post-2003 Iraq, with the climax of the Mahdist uprising in Najaf in January 2007.

Paper presenter: Mouloud Haddad (EHESS, Paris), “L'eschatologie de la Naqchabandiyya de Shaykh Nazim »
Mouloud Haddad will focus on a sufi order with a strong eschatological message, Shaykh Nazim''s Naqshabandiya, therefore underlining the specificity of ''quietist'' Sunni mysticism.

Paper presenter: Stéphane Lacroix (Sciences Po, Chaire Moyen-Orient/Middle East Chair), “Une messianisme par défaut: le cas de Juhayman al-Utaybi/Messianism by default: the case of Juhayman al-Utaybi”
Stéphane Lacroix will study how Juhayman al-Utaybi, the leader of the Mecca storming in 1979, chose the messianic path only by default. And Jean-Pierre Filiu will show how the doomsday scenarios in contemporary Islam fluctuate according to the undergoing crisis or conflict.

Paper presenter: Jean- Pierre Filiu (Sciences Po Chaire Moyen-Orient/Middle East Chair), “ Visions de la fin des temps dans l'Islam contemporain/Doomsday scenarios in contemporary Islam »