What does it mean to believe that God speaks to humanity through prophets? How does this idea affect the theological conception of God, and the broader intellectual development of a religious tradition? Like other religions with Abrahamic roots, Islam is founded on the idea of the conveyance of a message from God through the medium of human language. Historically, debate on the nature of revelation and prophecy led to differing Muslim notions of religious authority and marked several turning points in the history of Islamic theology, including the pivotal third/ninth century event of the Mihna. Today, these questions continue to lie at the heart of major theological divisions within Islam and have often provided the starting point of proposals for reform in contemporary Islamic thought.
However, partly due to a tendency to focus on natural theology and the significance of the translated Greek philosophical heritage, the central role of prophecy and revelation in Islamic theology has not been given sufficient attention by modern researchers. This symposium aims to address this lacuna in the field by exploring this central theme in Islamic thought.
We welcome a broad range of participants working in fields related to Islamic theology, from historians of various periods in Islamic history to scholars of contemporary issues in Islamic thought. We also invite contributions from practising Muslim theologians, as well as non-Muslim theologians working in interfaith dialogue with the Islamic tradition.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
Studies upon the Qur’an and the Hadith as the revealed sources of the Islamic tradition.
Comparisons between the Islamic idea of revelation and prophecy with parallel teachings in other religious traditions.
Revelation and prophecy in various theological and intellectual traditions in
Islam, such as Sunni/Shi’i, Ashʿarī/Muʿtazilī/Māturīdī/Hanbalī, Falsafa and Sufism, including concepts of divine inspiration, such as kashf and ilhām.
Revelation and prophecy as the theological framework in which various traditions of commentary and learning developed. This could include the disciplines of law,
Hadith, tafsīr, as well as the hermeneutical principles upon which these traditions were formulated.
Study of contemporary Muslim thinkers on subjects related to revelation and prophecy and the continuing relevance of these themes in Islamic thought today.
The symposium will be hosted by the Cambridge Muslim College, an independent institution aimed at bridging the world of modern academia and traditional Muslim religious scholarship. It will take place on Saturday 12th September 2015 from 10 am to 6 pm. Participants will have 30 minutes to present their paper. The presentations will be followed by open panel discussions. Lunch, dinner and refreshments will be provided by the College.
Call for Abstracts
Please send a title and abstract of no more than 300 words outlining your presentation to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of Friday 10th July. Successful participants will be notified by Friday 14th August.
We look forward to welcoming you to the symposium.
Dr Harith Bin Ramli and Dr Ramon Harvey (Research Fellows, CMC)
Cambridge Muslim College
14 St Paul’s Road Cambridge
CB1 2EZ 01223 355235