Shahab Ahmed’s What is Islam?
Thursday, 4 May 2017 from 09:00 to 19:00 (BST)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Shahab Ahmed's posthumous What is Islam? starts with a problem: Is Sufi pantheism ‘Islamic’? Should we call philosophical exploration, figural art and drinking wine - all activities highly valorized by many pre-modern Muslims, ‘Islamic’? And if so, what do we actually mean?
Historically, ‘Islam’ was not merely a religious system, a cultural set of symbols, or a code of law. All these conceptualizations, Ahmed argues, fail to capture the distinctive and paradoxical qualities of the Islamic tradition. Instead, Islamic tradition encompassed different ways of exploring God’s design behind scripture, and conflicting contextual readings and ways of making meanings of text and pre-text.
This one-day workshop will bring together leading scholars of Islam in the UK to comment, discuss, and critique this ambitious and eccentric book, and to explore its radical implications for the very framework of Islamic Studies in teaching and research.
Links to previous reviews of What is Islam?
- 09:15 Welcome
- 09.30 -10.30 The significance of What is Islam? Nora Lessersohn (Harvard), Yossef Rapoport (QMUL), Nenad Filipovic (University of Sarajevo). Chair: John-Paul Ghobrial (Oxford)
- 10:30-11:00 Break
- 11:00 - 12.30 Text and Pre-text (Theology and exegesis): Jon Hoover (Nottingham), Ayman Shihadeh (SOAS), Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster).
- 12.30 –14.00 Lunch Break
- 14.00 –15.30 Private and Public (Law and Politics): Rob Gleave (Exeter), Nafay Choudury (KCL), Humeira Iqtidar (KCL).Chair: Chris Moffat (QMUL)
- 16.00 - 17.30 On the importance of Being Islamic (Wine, art and science):Hugh Kennedy (SOAS), Emilie Savage-Smith (Oxford), Nur Sobers-Khan (British Library). Chair: Miri Rubin (QMUL)
- 17:30 – 18:30 Reception held by Princeton University Press, Francis Bancroft Foyer
What are my transport options for getting to and from the event?
The event is being held in the Bancroft Building at Queen Mary University of London. The closest tube stations are Mile End (Central, District, Hammersmith and City lines) or Stepney Green (District and Hammersmith and City lines). The Bancroft Building is number 31 on the campus map