People vs. God: The Logic of Divine Sovereignty in Islamic Democratic Discourse

Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations 11 (3):287-297 (2000)
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Abstract
This paper aims at clarifying the role which the concept of 'divine sovereignty ' plays in the discussions which are taking place among Islamic thinkers (and others) concerning the possibility of democracy in an Islamic context. It argues that 'sovereignty ' has at least two meanings, one 'f'actual', the other 'normative'. The paper also argues that the second sense of 'sovereignty ' allows us to construe ta!k o{ 'divine sovereignty' as an attempt by Islamic thinkers to go beyond the merely procedural views of democracy which focus on the familiar procedures o( power contestation, election and accountability.
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