ReOrienting the Global Study of Religion - Heba Raouf Ezzat
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Chaired by: Armando Salvatore, McGill University
10:30-11:45 AM (EST/UTC-5)
Heba Raouf Ezzat, Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul, Turkey
“The Tribe and the Nomos of the Earth: The Relevance of Ibn Khaldun”
The work of Ibn Khaldun has been read in many ways, focusing often on his notion of ‘asabiyyah and the nature of the social bond in tribal societies that motivates power exercise, territorial expansion and the rise of dynasties. The spatial ordering of society plays a crucial role in this vision. This presentation attempts to explore the notion of order and its configurations in space in the Muqaddimah, and how Ibn Khaldun’s political imagination was based on an understanding of the nomos of the earth on three levels: the cosmic nomos, the material/spatial nomos and the sociological nomos. While a dominant approach to the reading of Ibn Khaldun was understanding tribal societies as hierarchical, or history as cyclical, I will try to examine heterarchy in the three levels of the nomos. To relate the above to contemporary debates in political theory, Carl Schmitt is invited to this discussion where his understanding of the nomos as the order of appropriation, distribution and production in every society is highlighted. I will also refer to Michel Maffesoli and his work on neo-tribalism.