International conference with Walid Saleh (University of Toronto), Scott Lucas (University of Arizona) and Aisha Geissinger (University of Carleton), in Cairo, 11–13 January 2018
One of the questions raised today by some Egyptian religious authorities is on the lawfulness and relevance of using intellectual tools foreign to the Islamic tradition to read and interpret the Qurʾān and texts of the classic Islamic heritage. Is it permissible and appropriate to use contemporary human sciences to study the texts of the Arab-Islamic patrimony or should it be limited to the Ḥadīṯ? IDEO would like to contribute to this debate by studying the emergence of the Ḥadīṯ as the authority of knowledge in the Islamic sciences between the 4ᵗʰ/10ᵗʰ and the 8ᵗʰ/14ᵗʰ century.
As demonstrated by Jonathan Brown (2007), the process of canonization of the body of Ḥadīṯ in the 4th/10th century primarily answered the new needs of the Islamic community. And as noted by Aisha Musa (2008: 17–29), this canonization did not occur without the protest of those who saw the Ḥadīṯ as a rival to the Qurʾānic text. In its two constitutive parts, matn and isnād, the Ḥadīṯenables scholars to transmit juridical, theological and spiritual knowledge as well as to connect this knowledge to the authority of the Prophet (Brown 2010: 166‒168). Since the 2nd/8th century, Muslim scholars have been confronted with the following paradox: how does one interpret a source that is certain (the Qurʾān) through the lens of texts whose historical reliability is doubtful and subject to criticism (the Ḥadīṯ)? Isn’t human reason more reliable than the Ḥadīṯ? The middle way of Ašʿarism (between a strict theological literalism and Muʿtazilī rationalism) enabled a kind of fusion between the science of Ḥadīṯ and the rational Muʿtazilī tools (Brown 2010: 178). However, Ašʿarism never silenced more traditionalist voices for whom Ḥadīṯ was the ultimate source of knowledge.
The conferences of IDEO aim at supporting young scholars (PhD students and post-PhDs) by providing a space for encounter and debate. To attend the conference, please register by email at the following address: gro.oriac-oedi@tairaterces. Registration and attendance is free of charge. The deadline to register for attendance is December 31, 2017.
If you wish to submit a proposal, please send an abstract of 300 to 500 words in English, French or Arabic, as well as your CV to the same address, gro.oriac-oedi@tairaterces. The deadline for submitting a proposal is September 30, 2017. We will select between six and ten proposals.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.