The crux of the relationship between Islam and its journey to modernity, between the orthopraxy of this religion, with its judicial rules (shari’a) and the creation of democratic and pluralist systems, will soon become apparent. Ranging from the Egyptian Constitution to civil law, much must be rewritten, from family law to the policies needed to protect the rights of women. All of these issues are already on the agenda. Work can but start again from here to address the controversial issues that have fueled the work of the authors ResetDoc discusses here.
Philosophy and Religion
By Giancarlo BosettiThe Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo has been known for years to Reset’s readers as the author of essays and analyses about the situation in Iran and also as the author of Reading Gandhi in Tehran, a book published in Italian by Reset in 2007.
By Giancarlo BosettiBorn in Sudan in 1909, Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, was sentenced to death having been charged with apostasy by the Nimeiri regime in 1985 because of his ideas.
I first met Nasr Abu Zayd at Reset Istanbul Seminars in 2009. His lifeline reads like one long relationship with truth. One might honestly characterize Nasr Abu Zayd as a truth seeker. He was a scholar who had risked everything to restore the tradition of truth seeking in Islam. His work is an indispensable tool for Muslims themselves so they can wage their struggle for enlightenment and reform of their faith tradition.
By Nina zu FürstenbergWith his critical thinking, this Arab intellectual has allowed us to understand that both the Muslim culture and the Koran are not remotely extraneous to concepts such as human rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers, pluralism and tolerance. Nasr has, on the contrary, shown how Islam’s Holy Book contains elements that encourage a secular idea of society.
By Giancarlo BosettiArkoun possessed a rhetorical passion capable of enchanting his listeners. He powerfully laid claim to the internal resources of a tradition he never ceased to belong to, such as the Muslim and Arab humanism of the golden age of Islam (12th century) that could have flourished and produces its own Enlightenment in the sciences, the arts and critical thought, if it had not been destroyed at birth by political circumstances.
By Nina zu FürstenbergAccording to Filali-Ansary, religion provides a cohesive contribution to collective life in the Arab world, as religion does for many Christians in Western countries. The presence of religion can thus be invoked to oppose excesses of individualism, consumerism, and capitalism, without necessarily compromising the secularity of political institutions.
The last two centuries (since 1798) have witnessed a lively intellectual revival in Islamic thought, a fact that has impacted all sectors of life, without, at the same time, forming a clear line of thought or a “new paradigm” that overcomes the malaise of either/or, modernity or traditionalism, change or conservatism. Medieval Islam managed to construct a dominant and prosperous “sharia paradigm” for some centuries, a paradigm in which reason and revelation generally worked together. This paradigm was especially enforced politically, and that is how it rooted itself in Islamic history, and medieval history in general.
By Giancarlo BosettiDue to the importance of his reformist religious perspective, many journalists have described him as “Islam’s Luther,” perhaps explained by the fact that in the Shiite tradition, unlike the Sunnis, there is the presence of the clergy and its earthly power. Soroush is a theoretician of freedom and individual rights, and he is a critic of the theological tradition that has justified power through transcendence, thereby sanctifying centuries of tyranny.
By Giancarlo BosettiThe Syrian philosopher Sadik Al-Azm, born in Damascus in 1934 where he now lives, has developed a severe critique of Arab societies, affecting an entire generation marked by Israel’s defeat of Syria, Jordan and Egypt in 1967.
Egyptian Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of the most authoritative figures of Islamic juridical culture and is currently a Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at UCLA’s School of Law, where he teaches and lectures on human rights, Islam compared to liberal constitutions, security and terrorism.
By Nina zu Fürstenberg and Giancarlo BosettiThe Egyptian theologian Ali Abderraziq (1888-1966) owes his importance to the fact that he was one of the most authoritative authors in the Muslim juridical and theological field who set out the basis for a separation between the spiritual-religious dimension and the temporal characteristics of power.