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 renovations he carries out.

Reading Islam

Life and Politics of Brotherhood in Modern Turkey

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Fabio Vicini

In Reading Islam Fabio Vicini offers a journey within the intimate relations, reading practices, and forms of intellectual engagement that regulate Muslim life in two enclosed religious communities in Istanbul. Combining anthropological observation with textual and genealogical analysis, he illustrates how the modes of thought and social engagement promoted by these two communities are the outcome of complex intellectual entanglements with modern discourses about science, education, the self, and Muslims’ place and responsibility in society. In this way, Reading Islam sheds light on the formation of new generations of faithful and socially active Muslims over the last thirty years and on their impact on the turn of Turkey from an assertive secularist Republic to an Islamic-oriented form of governance.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation

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Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.

Josef van Ess and Renee Otto

Theology and Society is the most comprehensive study of Islamic intellectual and religious history, focusing on Muslim theology. With its emphasis on the eighth and ninth centuries CE, it remains the most detailed prosopographical study of the early phase of the formation of Islam. Originally published in German between 1991 and 1995, Theology and Society is a monument of scholarship and a unique scholarly enterprise which has stood the test of the time as an unparalleled reference work. The Indices consist of a General Index and a separate Index of Works.

Walking on the Pages of the Word of God

Self, Land, and Text Among Evangelical Volunteers in Jerusalem

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Aron Engberg

In Walking on the Pages of the Word of God Aron Engberg explores the religious language and identities of evangelical volunteer workers in contemporary Jerusalem. The volunteers are connected to Christian organizations which consider their work a natural consequence of the biblical promises to Israel and their responsibility to “bless the Jewish people”.

Relying on ethnographic data of the discursive practices of the volunteers, the book explores a central puzzle of Zionist Christianity: the narrative production of Israel’s religious significance and its relationship to broader Christian language traditions. By focusing on the volunteers’ stories about themselves, the land and the Bible, Aron Engberg offers a convincing account about how the State of Israel is finding its way into evangelical identities.

Etan Kohlberg

Edited by Amin Ehteshami

In Praise of the Few: Studies in Shiʿi Thought and History is a selection of Etan Kohlberg’s research on Shiʿi Islam over a period of fifty years. It includes previously published articles, revised dissertation chapters, and a full bibliography of the author’s work. Divided into two parts, the collection begins with chapters from Kohlberg’s Oxford doctoral dissertation (1971) and related articles that investigate Sunni and Shiʿi views on the Prophet’s Companions and debates concerning the extent of their authority as sources of religious knowledge. Part Two traces the doctrinal and historical developments pertaining to various dimensions of Imāmī Shiʿi intellectual tradition such as theology, hadith, law and jurisprudence. and exegesis.

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Ammeke Kateman

In Muḥammad ʿAbduh and his Interlocutors: Conceptualizing Religion in a Globalizing World, Ammeke Kateman offers an account of Muḥammad ʿAbduh’s Islamic Reformism in a context in which ideas increasingly crossed familiar geographical, religious and cultural frontiers. Presenting an alternative to the inadequate perspective of “Westernization”, Kateman situates the ideas of Muḥammad ʿAbduh (Egypt, 1849-1905) on Islam and religion amongst those of his interlocutors within a global intellectual field.

Ammeke Kateman’s approach documents the surprising pluralism of ʿAbduh’s interlocutors, the diversity in their shared conceptualizations of religion and the creativity of ʿAbduh’s own interpretation. In this way, the conceptualizations of ʿAbduh and his contemporaries also shed light on the diversified global genealogy of the modern concept of religion.

Heirs of the Apostles

Studies on Arabic Christianity in Honor of Sidney H. Griffith

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Edited by David Bertaina, Sandra Toenies Keating, Mark N. Swanson and Alexander Treiger

Heirs of the Apostles offers a panoramic survey of Arabic-speaking Christians—descendants of the Christian communities established in the Middle East by the apostles—and their history, religion, and culture in the early Islamic and medieval periods. The subjects range from Arabic translations of the Bible, to the status of Christians in the Muslim-governed lands, Muslim-Christian polemic, and Christian-Muslim and Christian-Jewish relations. The volume is offered as a Festschrift to Sidney H. Griffith, the doyen of Christian Arabic Studies in North America, on his eightieth birthday.

Contributors are: David Bertaina, Elie Dannaoui, Stephen Davis, Nathan P. Gibson, Cornelia Horn, Sandra Toenies Keating, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Andrew Platt, Thomas W. Ricks, Barbara Roggema, Harald Suermann, Mark N. Swanson, Shawqi Talia, Jack Tannous, David Thomas, Jennifer Tobkin, Alexander Treiger, Ronny Vollandt, Clare Wilde, and Jason Zaborowski.

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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.

Tafsir as Mystical Experience: Intimacy and Ecstasy in Quran Commentary

Tafsīr sūrat al-baqara by Sayyid ʿAlī Muḥammad Shīrāzī, The Báb (1819-1850)

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Todd Lawson

In Tafsir as Mystical Experience, Todd Lawson shows how the Quran may be engaged with for meaning and understanding, the usual goal of mystical exegesis, and also how it may be engaged with through tafsīr in a quest for spiritual or mystical experience. In this earliest of the Báb’s extended works, written before his public claim to be the return of the hidden Imam, the act of reading is shown to be something akin to holy communion in which the sacred text is both entrance upon and destination of the mystic quest. The Quran here is a door to an “abode of glory” and an abiding spiritual encounter with the divine through the prophet, his daughter Fāṭima and the twelve Imams of Ithna-ʿasharī Shiʿism who inhabit the letters, words, verses and suras of the Book.

Cover calligraphy by Burhan Zahrai of Quran 53:11