Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam
A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam – Book Sample
Intro – A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam
The Institute of Ismaili Studies The Institute of Ismaili Studies was established in 1977 with the object of promoting scholarship and learning on Islam, in the historical as well as contemporary contexts, and a better understanding of its relationship with other societies and faiths. The Institute’s programmes encourage a perspective which is not confined to the theological and religious heritage of Islam, but seek to explore the relationship of religious ideas to broader dimensions of society and culture.
The programmes thus encourage an interdisciplinary approach to the materials of Islamic history and thought. Particular attention is also given to issues of modernity that arise as Muslims seek to relate their heritage to the contemporary situation. Within the Islamic tradition, the Institute’s programmes seek to promote research on those areas which have, to date, received relatively little attention from scholars. These include the intellectual and literary expressions of Shism in general, and Ismailism in particular.
In the context of Islamic societies, the Institute’s programmes are informed by the full range and diversity of cultures in which Islam is practised today, from the Middle East, South and Central vi Al-Ghazålí and the Ismailis Asia and Africa to the industrialized societies of the West, thus taking into consideration the variety of contexts which shape the ideals, beliefs and practices of the faith. These objectives are realized through concrete programmes and activities organised and implemented by various departments of the Institute.
Institute’s academic publications
The Institute also collaborates periodically, on a programme-specific basis, with other institutions of learning in the United Kingdom and abroad. The Institute’s academic publications fall into several distinct and interrelated categories:
1. Occasional papers or essays addressing broad themes of the relationship between religion and society, with special reference to Islam.
2. Monographs exploring specific aspects of Islamic faith and culture, or the contributions of individual Muslim figures or writers.
3. Editions or translations of significant primary or secondary texts.
4. Translations of poetic or literary texts which illustrate the rich heritage of spiritual, devotional and symbolic expressions in Muslim history.
5. Works on Ismaili history and thought, and the relationship of the Ismailis to other traditions, communities and schools of thought in Islam.
6. Proceedings of conferences and seminars sponsored by the Institute.
7. Bibliographical works and catalogues which document manuscripts, printed texts and other source materials. This book falls into category five listed above.
In facilitating these and other publications, the Institute’s sole aim is to encourage original research and analysis of relevant issues. While every effort is made to ensure that the publications are of a high academic standard, there is naturally bound to be a diversity of views, ideas and interpretations. As such, the opinions expressed in these publications are to be understood as belonging to their authors alone.
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