Konstantinos RetsikasNov 17, 2023
A Synthesis of Time
Zakat, Islamic Micro-finance and the Question of the Future in 21st-Century Indonesia
Palgrave Macmillan 2020
In A Synthesis of Time: Zakat, Islamic Micro-finance and the Question of the Future in 21st-Century Indonesia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), Konstantinos Retsikas has anthropological investigation into the different forms the economy assumes, and the different purposes it serves, when conceived from the perspective of Islamic micro-finance as a field of everyday practice. The book is based on long-term ethnographic research in Java, Indonesia, with Islamic foundations active in managing zakat and other charitable funds, for purposes of poverty alleviation. Specifically, the book explores the social foundations of contemporary Islamic practices that strive to encompass the economic within an expanded domain of divine worship and elucidates the effects such encompassment has on time, its fissure and synthesis.
In order to elaborate on the question of time, the book looks beyond anthropology and Islamic studies, engaging attentively, critically and productively with the post-structuralist work of G. Deleuze, M. Foucault and J. Derrida, three of the most important figures of the temporal turn in contemporary continental philosophy. Through doing so, the book impressively untangles the complex relationship between Islamic economics, divine worship, and time.
Konstantinos Retsikas is Reader in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London, UK. His work focuses on temporality and personhood, and he has written extensively on issues of embodiment, place making, violence, and religion. He is also the author of Becoming: An Anthropological Approach to Understandings of the Person in Java (2012).
Yadong Li is a PhD student in anthropology at Tulane University. He conducts ethnography among ufologists in China. His research interests lie at the intersection of the anthropology of the paranormal, hope studies, and post-structural philosophy. More details about his scholarship and research interests can be found here.