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Visions of Sharīʿa

Contemporary Discussions in Shī ͑ī Legal Theory

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Edited by Ali-reza Bhojani, Laurens de Rooij and Michael Bohlander

In Visions of Sharīʿa Bhojani, De Rooij and Bohlander present the first broad examination of ways in which legal theory ( uṣūl al-fiqh) within Twelver Shīʿī thought continues to be a forum for vibrant debates regarding the assumptions, epistemology and hermeneutics of Sharīʿa in contemporary Shīʿī thought. Bringing together authoritative voices and emerging scholars, from both ‘traditional’ seminaries and ‘Western’ academies, the distinct critical insider and emic accounts provided develop a novel avenue in Islamic legal studies. Contextualised through reference to the history of Shīʿī legal theory as well as contemporary juristic practice and socio-political considerations, the volume demonstrates how one of the most intellectually vibrant and developed discourses of Islamic thought continues to be a key forum for exploring visions of Sharīʿa.

Edited by Simon Polinder and Govert J. Buijs

International relations are in constant turbulence. Globalisation, the rise and fall of superpowers, the fragilisation of the EU, trade wars, real wars, terrorism, persecution, new nationalism and identity politics, climate change, are just a few of the recent disturbing developments. How can international issues be understood and addressed from a Christian faith perspective? In this book answers are presented from various Christian traditions: Neo-calvinism, Catholic social teaching, critical theory and Christian realism. The volume offers fundamental theological and Christian philosophical perspectives on international relations and global challenges, case studies about inspiring Christian leaders such as Robert Schuman, Dag Hammarskjöld, Abraham Kuyper and prophetic critiques of supranational issues.

Menno R. Kamminga

This article revisits theologian Ulrich Duchrow’s three-decade-old use of the Protestant notion of status confessionis to denounce the capitalist global economy. Scholars quickly dismissed Duchrow’s argument; however, philosopher Thomas Pogge has developed a remarkable “negative duty”—based critique of the current global economic order that might help revitalize Duchrow’s position. The article argues that sound reasons exist for the churches to declare the contemporary world economy a—provisionally termed—status confessionis minor. After explaining the inadequacy of Duchrow’s original position and summarizing Pogge’s account, the article develops a twofold argument. First, Pogge’s in-depth inquiry into the world economy gives Duchrow’s call for a status confessionis a strong yet narrowing economic foundation. Second, to declare the world economy a status confessionis minor is theological-ethically justifiable if the limited though indispensable “prophetic” significance of doing so is acknowledged. Thus, Duchrow’s approach is justified, but only partially.

Andrew Basden and Sina Joneidy

Meaning is important in everyday life, and each science focuses on certain ways in which reality is meaningful. This article (the second of two) discusses practical implications of Herman Dooyeweerd’s understanding of meaning for everyday experience, scientific theories, scientific methodology, and philosophical underpinning. It uses eight themes related to meaning in Dooyeweerd’s philosophy, which are discussed philosophically in the first article (and summarised here). This article ends with a case study in which the themes are applied together to understanding Thomas Kuhn’s notion of paradigms.

Roel Jongeneel

In contrast to the dominant way of thinking in economics, in which economics is seen as a positive or neutral science, this paper argues that economics is a discipline that has its own normativity. This economic normativity should be distinguished from what is usually considered as ethics, which normally has a broader scope (e.g., stewardship). This paper further argues that the budget constraint is a key source of economic normativity, although it is not the only source. Economic-theoretical and philosophical aspects are discussed, and consequences for economic life and policy are assessed.

Michael J. DeMoor

This paper offers a characterization and critique of the idea of bounded rationality and its consequences for public policy. It offers an alternative way of accounting for the crucial features of human rationality that bounded rationality sees, using categories inspired by the Reformational philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd and others, and then shows how this alternative account of the “bounds” of human rationality points toward an alternative orientation toward public policy-making.

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Jan-Olav Henriksen

Inspired by pragmatism, this book addresses religious plurality with the aim of bringing forth how it may be approached constructively by Christian theology. Accordingly, not doctrine, but practices are focussed in its analyses of interreligious topics. Henriksen argues that engagement with the diversity of religious traditions should be grounded in openness towards the other, and resistance against making others similar to oneself. Accordingly, the book presents a theological approach where interaction between religious practitioners is considered a benefit and a necessity for the positive future of religious traditions. It will be of interest to anyone who is interested in the understanding of religious pluralism from the point of view of Christian theology.

Piero di Cosimo

Painter of Faith and Fable

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Edited by Dennis Geronimus and Michael Kwakkelstein

The study of Piero di Cosimo belongs no less to the history of the imagination than to the history of art. As was true for Giorgio Vasari five centuries ago, Piero’s intensely personal visual language remains a moving target for modern scholars. Yet, as surprising and strange as his pictorial solutions appear, we have never known as much about Piero as we do today. Freed from the powerful spell of Vasari’s biography-cum-cautionary tale, the Piero that emerges is not solely a conjurer of the uncanny, but a sensitive observer of the emotions, the natural and manmade worlds, humans and beasts, surfaces and coloristic effects, phenomena material and ephemeral.
The conference from which the thirteen essays in this volume spring provided a forum for international scholars to continue the ongoing conversation and to ask new questions. The latter address Piero’s relationship to his artistic contemporaries, north and south of the Alps; the master’s Marian imagery; his intellectual engagement with classical traditions; the dual themes of naturalism and exoticism; and the latest technical findings. Topics of investigation thus range as broadly as Piero’s own versatile production, uniting diverse fields and methods, traversing regional boundaries, and often venturing far beyond Florence’s city walls, into the wild.

Contributors are Ianthi Assimakopoulou, Marina Belozerskaya, Jean Cadogan, Elena Capretti, Alessandra Galizzi Kroegel, Dennis Geronimus, Guy Hedreen, Sarah Blake McHam, Anna Teresa Monti, Paula Nuttall, Roberta J.M. Olson, Lesley Stevenson, Lisa Venerosi Pesciolini, and Elizabeth Walmsley.