Many thanks to Amir Dziri and Hansjörg Schmid, both of the Swiss Center for Islam and Society at the University of Fribourg, for inviting me to join an exciting, coherent, and flawlessly organized conference celebrating the dissertations of seven graduates of their doctoral program in “Islam and Society: Islamic-theological Studies.” My presentation responded to an innovative and sophisticated dissertation by Esma Isis-Arnautović (“Vom Menschenbild zum Paradigma: Zur Begründbarkeit einer theologischen Anthropologie im Islam”):
“The Anthropological Turn in Islamic Theologies of Revelation.” On the Future of a Young Discipline: Islamic-theological Studies between Systematic and Practical Research, Swiss Center for Islam and Society, University of Fribourg / Paulus Akademie, Zurich, May 31, 2022.
Many thanks to Serdar Kurnaz, his Working Group for Islamic Philosophy of Law, and his team from the Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology, for calling together what turned out to be a creative, imaginative, and wide-ranging conference on “Constructing Islamic Philosophy of Law: Obstacles, Challenges and Solutions.” It was held in the old Veterinary Anatomy Theater (pictured) at Humboldt University in Berlin on May 27-28, 2022. My paper was:
“Classical Islamic Legal Theory and Modern European Philosophy in Conversation: Language, Ethics, History, Politics, and Phenomenology.” Constructing Islamic Philosophy of Law: Obstacles, Challenges and Solutions, Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology, Humboldt University, Berlin, May 27, 2022.
Many thanks to Muna Tatari and Idris Nassery for their warm hospitality and engagement during their conference on “Dynamics of Tradition: Islamic Theology and Law in Relation” at the University of Paderborn, September 17-19, 2021. I presented the following paper:
“Theologies of Divine Speech and the Human Exigencies of Law: A Conundrum for Classical and Contemporary Islamic Legal Hermeneutics.” Dynamics of Tradition: Islamic Theology and Law in Relation, Institute for Islamic Theology, University of Paderborn, Germany, September 19, 2021.
Majid Daneshgar and Johanna Pink, of the University of Freiburg, invited me to participate in their online lecture series “Freiburg conversations on tafsir and transregional Islamic networks II,” and Nadja Germann, also of the University of Freiburg, served as host and gave a very helpful and thought-provoking response that will reshape the outline of my long-term project on contemporary Qur’anic hermeneutics. Questions from the audience, starting with Karen Bauer, are also pushing me to rethink my starting point: should I start with the classical and modern sources of hermeneutical ideas, or with the thinkers who appeal to those classical and modern sources, or with the ideas themselves? Should I work chronologically or thematically? Up or down the isnads of intellectual transmission and exchange? The discussion really got me thinking.
“Five Facets of the Anthropological Turn in Qur’anic Hermeneutics: History, Linguistics, Ideology, Phenomenology, and Postmodernism.” Freiburg conversations on tafsir and transregional Islamic networks II, via Zoom, March 3, 2021.
There were no slides, but the full text of the talk is available here as a pdf. Video of both the talk and Nadja’s response (but not the Q&A) is available on YouTube here.
Many thanks to Rob Gleave and Murteza Bedir for organizing another great conference on Islamic legal theory in Istanbul, and to all the participants for rich conversations and for helpful feedback on my paper, which was:
“Uṣūl al-Fiqh versus Hermeneutics: History, Linguistics, Ideology, Phenomenology, and Postmodernism between Europe and Indonesia.” Conference on “Islamic Legal Theory: Intellectual History and Uṣūl al-Fiqh,” Istanbul University, October 15, 2019.
Here is a pdf of the pre-conference draft of the paper that was shared with participants. It is complete but lacks documentation, so please do not cite it formally yet; it has since undergone significant revision and has been submitted for publication in the conference volume, which we hope will be published in 2022.