As the world becomes increasingly globalised Islam faces some important choices. Does it seek to "modernise" in line with the cultures in which it is practised, or does it retain its traditions even if they are at odds with the surrounding society? This book utilizes a critical rationalist viewpoint to illuminate many of the hotly contended issues in modern Islam, and to offer a fresh analysis.
A variety of issues within Islam are discussed in this book including, Muslims and modernity; Islam, Christianity and Judaism; approaches to the understanding of the Quran; Muslim identity and civil society; doctrinal certainty and violent radicalism. In each case, the author makes use of Karl Popper’s theory of critical rationalism to uncover new aspects of these issues and to challenge post-modern, relativist, literalist and justificationist readings of Islam.
This is a unique perspective on contemporary Islam and as such will be of significant interest to scholars of Religious Studies, Islamic Studies and the Philosophy of Religion.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction 2 What and how can we learn from the Quran? A critical rationalist perspective 3 A critical rationalist approach to religion 4 A critical assessment of the programmes of producing ‘Islamic Science’ and ‘Islamisation of Science/Knowledge’ 5 Faqih as engineer: a critical assessment of Fiqh’s epistemological status 6 A critical assessment of the method of interpretation of the Quran by the Quran, in the light of Allameh Tabatabaei’s Tafsir al-Mizan 7 The disenchantment of reason: an anti-rational trend in modern Shi‘i thought – the Tafkikis 8 Islamic philosophy: past, present and future 9 Doctrinal certainty: a major contributory factor to ‘Secular’ and ‘Religious’ violence in the political sphere 10 Islam, Christianity and Judaism: can they ever live peacefully together? 11 The shape of the coming global civil society: suggestions for a possible Islamic perspective
Ali Paya is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Islamic College London, UK. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (UK) and Azad University (Iran). He has published widely on modern Islam including the book Iraq, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World (2012) and The Misty Land of Ideas and the Light of Dialogue: An Anthology of Comparative Philosophy- Western & Islamic (2013). He is on the editorial board for the Journal of Dialogue Studies, Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies and International Journal of Islam.