Al-Mahdi Institute : Education & Research

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AMI Student Kumail Shariff presents at ESITIS conference 2017 in Germany

Between 26th - 29th April 2017, AMI student Kumail Shariff presented at the The European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS) conference 2017. The conference's focus was on the topic of "Religion & Politics in the Crisis of Engagement". The aim of the conference was to bring together different religious and political traditions so as to find solutions to the global crisis in the world today. Kumail's paper was on the topic 'Towards a greater harmony in the Islamic World – Learning from Abdallah Saeed and Ludwig Wittgenstein' and was presented under the section ‘Islamic approaches to peacebuilding’. 

An abstract of his paper reads: 

"Islam, in the eyes of many of its adherent, is considered to be a religion of peace. The Qur’an is used to support this claim. Yet, the same scripture is used for the justification of extremists’ acts. How can the same Qur’an be used to justify both sides of the argument?

In this paper, I argue, that this difference arises due to a hermeneutical problem. Hence the solution to the problem should also be hermeneutical. I propose a hermeneutical theory that benefits from the Wittgensteinien language game theory. An interpretation of the Qur’an on this approach, involves an understanding and appreciation of the Quranic language game whose principles are then applied to our current language game. I also refer to Abdallah Saeed’s four step method in interpreting the Qur’an to strengthen my argument. I conclude that it is through this method of interpreting the Qur’an that one begins to understand the Ratio legis of the Qur’an, and ultimately create a peaceful environment in the Islamic world as well as outside it."

To find out more about the work of ESITIS and the conference click here

To view more photos of the conference click here

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