Can Qur’anic Interpretation Be Both Practically Adequate and Theologically Principled? Some Instructive Historical Examples…

Harith Bin Ramli and Ramon Harvey hosted a warm, lively, and coherent symposium on theologies of revelation at the Cambridge Muslim College. It was a beautiful and memorable day, epitomized by this image of Shahrur and Mohammed:

Sahrur and Mohammed at CMC symposium

My presentation was a reflective pause, looking back on my previous work on classical legal hermeneutics, drawing in my recent readings in Indonesian Qur’anic hermeneutics, and pondering some of the intellectual challenges and moral dangers of thinking systematically about revelation:

“Can Qur’anic Interpretation Be both Practically Adequate and Theologically Principled? Some Instructive Historical Examples of the Delicate Connection between Hermeneutical Theories and Doctrines of Divine Speech.” From Revelation to Scripture: A Symposium on Divine Speech and Prophetic Inspiration in Islam, Cambridge Muslim College, Cambridge, England, September 12, 2015.

Here is a pdf of the full paper, which I summarized at the symposium. The new material it contains about the Indonesian thinker Aksin Wijaya was previously discussed at the International Qur’anic Studies Association in 2014, and hopefully will be included in a future publication (perhaps a volume stemming from the Cambridge Muslim College symposium).

Another image from the day–Farrokh and Ramon during one of the many coffee breaks:

Farrokh and Ramon at CMC symposium

Hermeneutics and the Traditional Islamic Sciences in Indonesia Today

At the IAHR meeting in beautiful Erfurt, in a paper session organized by Carool Kersten on “Retraditionalisation, Anti-Foundationalism and Glocalisation in a Post-Islamist Muslim World,” I presented a simple comparison of three Indonesian thinkers whose works I had been reading, and whom I had just had the opportunity to interview in Indonesia:

Hermeneutics and the Traditional Islamic Sciences in Indonesia Today: Rhetoric, Retraditionalisation, or Creative Anti-Foundationalism?” International Association for the History of Religions, Erfurt, Germany, August 24, 2015.

Here is a link to a pdf of the paper as presented. This is an oral presentation version, without documentation. It is not intended for publication, though the figures discussed here will doubtless appear in some future publication.

A Digital Humanities project: Genealogies of Qur’anic Hermeneutics

“Genealogies of Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Tracing Trajectories through Online Data.” International Conference “New Trends in Qur’anic Studies,” co-hosted by the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) and the State Islamic University (UIN) Sunan Kalijaga. Yogyakarta, Indonesia, August 6, 2015.

This paper presents and illustrates my vision for the OU/Exaptive Discourse Map software, which is being created June-December 2015 by the University of Oklahoma Libraries and Exaptive, Inc.

Here are links to the richly illustrated full paper and the slide show presented at the 2015 IQSA meeting in Indonesia.

Congratulations to IQSA for this lively and diverse meeting, which was a major step toward IQSA’s vision of being a truly international scholarly organization.

IQSA 2015 speakers