alexa Performing Spirituality in the Public Sphere inthe Post-Arab Spring Context

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Performing Spirituality in the Public Sphere inthe Post-Arab Spring Context

It is commonly acknowledged that many thinkers have predicted a drop in mainstream religious participation and traditional belief, and a retreat of religion from the public sphere in favor of reason and rational thinking. However, religion did “return from exile” with ferocity partly after the Iranian Revolution and remarkably after the 9/11 attacks and the Arab Spring heralding the gradual decline of secularization theory. This comeback of religion does not mean the end of secularism, but rather the conflation or marriage between religion/Islam and secularism forcing Islamic discourse to enter a new phase of post-Islamism and secular discourse to enter a new era of post-secularism. In addition to deconstructing the afore-mentioned concepts and highlighting the role of performance of protest in mobilizing the protesters during the Arab uprisings, my paper is concerned with investigating the issue of spirituality in performance studies and highlighting the reformulation of religion’s place in the Arab public sphere in the post-Arab Spring era. It also argues that the multi-faceted, hybrid and revolutionary post-Islamist public sphere has contributed to the emergence of youth religiosity as a model that is independent of the ideological establishment.

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