The conference “Authority and spirituality in Islam: sources of diversity" aims to bring together scholars and students researching the inner diversity of the Islamic world with its particularities and highlight the reasons and circumstances that have caused the pluralistic character of Islam. The event takes place on the 29th and 30th of November 2022 at the University of Tartu.
The roots of Islamic diversity emerged in controversy over the authority of the community, and the split into Sunni and Shia communities paved the way for subsequent divergences. Further separation into various branches and sects causing the plurality of the Islamic world was, among other reasons, caused by the questions of political leadership and religious authority. Political, philosophical, and theological disputes and cultural differences have added to the plurality of understandings. Principles and means of legitimizing spiritual authority in different regions and eras have led to various understandings of the requirements of spiritual leaders and the emergence of spiritual movements. Construction, legitimation, and expression of religious authority through tradition, beliefs, texts, speeches, practices, and rituals at the individual, community, and state levels are the focus of this conference.