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Religous Agency

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By sophierosea
Words 966
Pages 4
Final Paper:
The Function of Maladjustment in Religious Agency
Through their study and analysis of Muslim women’s progression in self-realization through maladjustment Scott and Mahmood demonstrate that religion and religious communities can act as a foundation for female agency in spite of labels given to them by western thought. In his speech “The Power of Nonviolence” Dr. King introduces the notion that there are negative practices and situations where maladjustment is not only a necessity, but an obligation. Maladjustment, as opposed to adjustment, is an essential responsibility of citizenship because it necessitates the progression of social and political structures, “God grant that we will be so maladjusted that we will be able to go out and change our world and our civilization.” (King 15) King describes the two traditional methods for oppressed people to respond; acquiescence, when individuals adjust themselves to maintain some sort of equilibrium (which can lead to stagnation), or an uprising, a form of maladjustment, that usually takes place violently. The Muslim women described in the writings of Mahmood and Scott embody maladjustment despite the fact that they live within the traditionally hierarchical power structure of Islam because they alter the structure of their religion simply by choosing to be being active participants.
In “The Subject of Freedom,” Mahmood affirms King’s assertion of the importance of resistance in the form of maladjustment. But in saying that women can use “the instruments of their oppression as a means to assert their value both collectively…and individually” (Mahmood 7) Mahmood takes a distinct position from King by saying that people can operate within hierarchical power structures, rather than removing oneself from them, and still utilize their agency. Scott makes a related analysis in her study of observant Muslim...

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