Muslim movements in the twentieth century have sought to develop new reading and listening publics attuned to the messages of reform and renewal. Across Asia and the Middle East, scholars, poets, and activists have created distinctive vernacular genres intended to make the words of scripture widely available. Newspaper columns, quickly printed tracts, and popular poetry have been shaped to the task of tafsīr, the interpretation of scripture. International networks of printers, booksellers, and, more recently, television producers have extended the reformist's reach far beyond older networks of scholarship and communication (Metcalf 1990; Eickelman 1992). Often modernist writers have signaled their break with past scholarly traditions by writing in vernaculars, sometimes developing new vernaculars. They wrote in Turkish, Urdu, Bengali, or Indonesian, rather than the traditional religious and literary languages of Arabic, Persian, and Javanese (Anderson 1990; Freitag 1988; Mardin 1989).

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.