I was honored with an invitation to present this paper, “Four Contested Choices in the Invention of a Revealed, Systematic, and Comprehensive Islamic Law,” for the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Pembroke College, Oxford, on March 13, 2023. It is an improved version of a paper presented in Bad Homburg in July 2022.
The slides are available here as a pdf.
Many thanks to Serdar Kurnaz and his collaborators for inviting me to join the stunning lineup of speakers at the conference celebrating the conclusion of the first phase of their Linked Open Tafsīr project. It was a rich feast, thanks to the wonderful hospitality of our hosts and the full schedule of updates about a wide range of innovative research projects. My paper was:
“Four Contested Steps in the Emergence of a Revealed, Systematic, and Comprehensive Islamic Law.” Linked Open Tafsīr Conference 2022: Reconstructing the Dynamics of the Emergence of Islam — Possibilities and Limits, Bad Homburg, Germany, July 20, 2022.
The slides from my talk are available as a pdf here.
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.
Here is a pdf of the slides for the presentation.
The inside of the Veterinary Anatomy Theater:
Islamic Legal Theory: A Critical Introduction Based on al-Juwayni’s Waraqat fi usul al‑fiqh. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2022.
This book is a revised and slightly expanded version of my Critical Introduction to Islamic Legal Theory, which was published online in 2017. Many thanks to Rick Todhunter at Hackett for suggesting that it be published as an affordable paperback for classroom use. It is available on Hackett’s web site as an ebook ($15.50), a paperback ($18), and in a library-style cloth binding (not sewn, $58). Instructors may order examination copies for a nominal charge of $3.
But the book isn’t just for students. Along with a critical edition and English translation of al-Juwayni’s widely used Kitab al-Waraqat fi usul al-fiqh, it offers a novel commentary that highlights the significance of classical debates for contemporary concerns in a way that I hope will prove illuminating for specialists.
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.
Here is a pdf of the pre-conference draft, without documentation, from which I presented excerpts at the conference.
The paper will appear in the conference volume; publication with Brill is expected in 2023.