MAC Lecture Series: Islamic Philosophy and Contemporary Humanities: A Reconsideration

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Lecture Series on the History and future of Islamic Philosophy – A Foundational, Critical and Comparative Approach

Islamic Humanities: Why There is a Need for an Islamic Perspective in Humanities

This lecture series is in partnership with the Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies This project contributes to the reconstruction of Islamic rationalism by explaining the fundamentals and creating a discourse around the following three tracks:

1. The specific characteristics of Islamic rationalism in the classical and post-classical periods.

2. The prospects through which this system of rationalism can respond to the failures of modernist rationalism and its critiques by contemporary post-modernist projects.

3. The need and methods for young Muslims in colleges in the west to develop any Islamic perspective on the humanities ultimately leading to the development of Islamic humanities.

The instructor is Dr. Ahmed El-Sayed Abdel Meguid, Assistant Professor at the Department of Religion, Syracuse University

Course Description:

The advent of the term ‘Human Sciences,’ Geisteswissneschaften, in the late 19th century marked a major transformation in the history of ideas and the taxonomy of sciences. However, the emergence of this body of sciences was equally indicative of a profound crisis in the development of theories of knowledge and sciences in the Enlightenment and the post-Enlightenment eras as Wilhelm Dilthey, the leading German philosopher and one of the first to coin the term Geisteswissneschaften, and later the French philosopher Michel Foucault remarked. If this is the case and if the human sciences have become a key source for interpreting and treating most ethical, social and political problems by individuals, civil society and even governments across the world, what perspective do the Islamic sciences have to offer on such body of sciences? Could this perspective be merely a product of superficial reconciliations between classical Islamic concepts and contemporary ones as most scholars of Islam in the last century have been attempting? Or does the body of the Islamic rational sciences especially as it matured from the late 13th to the late 18th centuries offer a radically new perspective on the crisis that led to the emergence of human sciences and hence furnish a completely different foundation for a new system of humanities? This course will respond to these central questions.

To register, please click here.

Please note, space is limited.