The Dynamics of Adaptive Globalisation. Muslim Missionaries in Weimar Berlin

Gerdien Jonker


This study scrutinizes a case of adaptive globalisation at the interface of colonized India and post-war colonial Europe. It examines Muslim missionaries who, after World War I, made missionary efforts in Germany. Originating from British India, the missionaries’ determination was firmly rooted in the Indian colonial past. They saw their mission as a further step in the process of adaptive globalisation, that is, the drive to adapt to and to reverse Western domination.
The paper retraces missionary competition in Weimar Berlin, revealing an amalgam of pan-Islamic ideas, political strategies, and reformist religious imagery. These attempts at winning Western converts were a knife that cut both ways: Missionaries approached German ‘moderns’ in their own symbolic language, while the latter steered between the different mission offers and adapted Islam to their own needs.
Making use of fresh sources, the contribution offers three perspectives: (1) the Sunnī mission with its revolutionary tinge; (2) the Ahmadiyya mission, and (3) the interface. 


Ahmadiyya mission; Muslim mainstream mission; interwar continental Europe; Berlin; Lebensreform; ambiguity; entangling of religions; globalisation via adaption

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