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Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation

A Study of Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql

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Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

In Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus, Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms Ibn Taymiyya carries out.

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Edited by Mohammed Ghaly

Islamic Ethics and the Genome Question is one of the very first academic works, which examine the field of genomics from an Islamic perspective. This twelve-chapter volume presents the results from a pioneering seminar held in 2017 at the Research Center for Islamic Legislation & Ethics, College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, in Qatar. The contributors to this volume, coming from different disciplines and specializations, approached the key ethical questions raised by the emerging field of genomics, viz. the Genome Question (GQ), from various angles and perspectives. Their shared thesis is that the breadth and depth of both the GQ and the Islamic tradition necessitate going beyond just producing quick answers in response to immediate questions. In order to accommodate the complexity and wide scope of the GQ, the volume included critical analyses of the ethical discourse on genomics, from outside the Islamic tradition. Within the Islamic tradition, the contributing authors explored how the QG can be better explored by involving insights from various disciplines including Quran exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy and theology. Besides its interest for researchers and students specialized in ethics, bioethics and Islamic studies, this volume will be a source of important information for geneticists, genomicists and social scientists who are interested in the ethical discourse about genomics in the Muslim world.

Contributors include Arzoo Ahmed, Abbas Amir, Saadia Bendenia, Mohammed Ghaly, Mutaz al-Khatib, Amara Naceur, Aasim I. Padela, Ayman Shabana, Trevor Stammers, Mehrunisha Suleman and Hub Zwart.

Ordinary Jerusalem, 1840-1940

Opening New Archives, Revisiting a Global City

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Edited by Angelos Dalachanis and Vincent Lemire

In Ordinary Jerusalem, Angelos Dalachanis, Vincent Lemire and thirty-five scholars depict the ordinary history of an extraordinary global city in the late Ottoman and Mandate periods. Utilizing largely unknown archives, they revisit the holy city of three religions, which has often been defined solely as an eternal battlefield and studied exclusively through the prism of geopolitics and religion. At the core of their analysis are topics and issues developed by the European Research Council-funded project “Opening Jerusalem Archives: For a Connected History of Citadinité in the Holy City, 1840–1940.” Drawn from the French vocabulary of geography and urban sociology, the concept of citadinité describes the dynamic identity relationship a city’s inhabitants develop with each other and with their urban environment.

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Emma Loosley Leeming

In Architecture and Asceticism Loosley Leeming presents the first interdisciplinary exploration of Late Antique Syrian-Georgian relations available in English. The author takes an inter-disciplinary approach and examines the question from archaeological, art historical, historical, literary and theological viewpoints to try and explore the relationship as thoroughly as possible. Taking the Georgian belief that ‘Thirteen Syrian Fathers’ introduced monasticism to the country in the sixth century as a starting point, this volume explores the evidence for trade, cultural and religious relations between Syria and the Kingdom of Kartli (what is now eastern Georgia) between the fourth and seventh centuries CE. It considers whether there is any evidence to support the medieval texts and tries to place this posited relationship within a wider regional context.

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Richard van Leeuwen

In Narratives of Kingship in Eurasian Empires, 1300-1800 Richard van Leeuwen analyses representations and constructions of the idea of kingship in fictional texts of various genres, especially belonging to the intermediate layer between popular and official literature. The analysis shows how ideologies of power are embedded in the literary and cultural imagination of societies, their cultural values and conceptualizations of authority. By referring to examples from various empires (Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, European) the parallels between literary traditions are laid bare, revealing remarkable common concerns. The process of interaction and transmission are highlighted to illustrate how literature served as a repository for ideological and cultural values transforming power into authority in various imperial environments.

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Edited by Jacob Høigilt and Gunvor Mejdell

The Politics of Written Language in the Arab World connects the fascinating field of contemporary written Arabic with the central sociolinguistic notions of language ideology and diglossia. Focusing on Egypt and Morocco, the authors combine large-scale survey data on language attitudes with in-depth analyses of actual language usage and explicit (and implicit) language ideology. They show that writing practices as well as language attitudes in Egypt and Morocco are far more receptive to vernacular forms than has been assumed.

The individual chapters cover a wide variety of media, from books and magazines to blogs and Tweets. A central theme running through the contributions is the social and political function of “doing informality” in a changing public sphere steadily more permeated by written Arabic in a number of media.

The e-book version of this publication is available in Open Access.

Islam in a Post-Secular Society

Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith

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Dustin Byrd

Islam in the Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith critically examines the unique challenges facing Muslims in Europe and North America. From the philosophical perspective of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, this book attempts not only to diagnose the current problems stemming from a marginalization of Islam in the secular West, but also to offer a proposal for a Habermasian discourse between the religious and the secular.

By highlighting historical examples of Islamic and western rapprochement, and rejecting the ‘clash of civilization’ thesis, the author attempts to find a ‘common language’ between the religious and the secular, which can serve as a vehicle for a future reconciliation.

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Edited by Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett

This volume brings together the leading experts in the history of European Oriental Studies. Their essays present a comprehensive history of the teaching and learning of Arabic in early modern Europe, covering a wide geographical area from southern to northern Europe and discussing the many ways and purposes for which the Arabic language was taught and studied by scholars, theologians, merchants, diplomats and prisoners. The contributions shed light on different methods and contents of language teaching in a variety of academic, scholarly and missionary contexts in the Protestant and the Roman Catholic world. But they also look beyond the institutional history of Arabic studies and consider the importance of alternative ways in which the study of Arabic was persued.

Contributors are Asaph Ben Tov, Maurits H. van den Boogert, Sonja Brentjes, Mordechai Feingold, Mercedes García-Arenal, John-Paul A. Ghobrial, Aurélien Girard, Alastair Hamilton, Jan Loop, Nuria Martínez de Castilla Muñoz, Simon Mills, Fernando Rodríguez Mediano, Bernd Roling, Arnoud Vrolijk.

This title, in its entirety, is available online in Open Access.

Visions of Justice

Sharīʿa and Cultural Change in Russian Central Asia

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Paolo Sartori

Visions of Justice offers an exploration of legal consciousness among the Muslim communities of Central Asia from the end of the eighteenth century through the fall of the Russian Empire. Paolo Sartori surveys how colonialism affected the way in which Muslims formulated their convictions about entitlements and became exposed to different notions of morality. Situating his work within a range of debates about colonialism and law, legal pluralism, and subaltern subjectivity, Sartori puts the study of Central Asia on a broad, conceptually sophisticated, comparative footing. Drawing from a wealth of Arabic, Persian, Turkic and Russian sources, this book provides a thoughtful critique of method and considers some of the contrasting ways in which material from Central Asian archives may most usefully be read.

This title is available in its entirety in Open Access.
Publication in Open Access was made possible by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.

Caliphate and Kingship in a Fifteenth-Century Literary History of Muslim Leadership and Pilgrimage

al-Ḏahab al-masbūk fī ḏikr man ḥaǧǧa min al-ḫulafāʾ wa-l-mulūk. Critical Edition, Annotated Translation, and Study

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Jo van Steenbergen

In Caliphate and Kingship in a Fifteenth-Century Literary History of Muslim Leadership and Pilgrimage Jo Van Steenbergen presents a new study, edition and translation of al-Ḏahab al-Masbūk fī Ḏikr man Ḥağğa min al-Ḫulafāʾ wa-l-Mulūk, a summary history of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca by al-Maqrīzī (766-845 AH/ca. 1365-1442 CE). Traditionally considered as a useful source for the history of the ḥağğ, al-Ḏahab al-Masbūk is re-interpreted here as a complex literary construction that was endowed with different meanings. Through detailed contextualist, narratological, semiotic and codicological analyses Van Steenbergen demonstrates how these meanings were deeply embedded in early-fifteenth century Egyptian transformations, how they changed substantially over time, and how they included particular claims about authorship and about legitimate and good Muslim rule.