“Social, Ethical, Political, and Policy Implications of Interpretations of Islam’s Foundational Text: The Qur’an,” a symposium sponsored by New York University’s Center for Dialogues, will bring together some of the foremost Muslim scholars to discuss and debate the meaning of the text and the larger significance of how he Qur’an is viewed by Muslims and non-Muslims around the globe. The symposium, Wednesday, November 10, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 West 12th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), is free and open to the public.
Please call 212.998.8693 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to RSVP by November 8. Subway Lines: L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 (14th Street/Union Square). Reporters interested in attending must RSVP to James Devitt, NYU’s deputy director for media relations, at 212.998.6808 or email@example.com.
“The way Islam is lived today and how Muslim communities interact with the non-Muslim world, especially the West, range from open and peaceful modes to more radical methods,” said Mustapha Tlili, Founder and Director of the Center for Dialogues. “Some of these differences are rooted in interpretations of sacred texts by groups and individuals who use religion for political purposes and whose claim to legitimacy is based on selective readings and distorted interpretations of the Qur’an, in particular.”
Symposium speakers and topics include: Abdelmajid Charfi, Professor Emeritus of Arab Civilization and Islamic Thought at the University of Tunis; Robert Lee, Professor of Political Science at Colorado College, who will discuss the work of the late Mohamed Arkoun of Algeria, Professor Emeritus of the History of Islamic Thought at the Sorbonne; Andreas Christmann, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at the University of Manchester, to discuss the work of the Syrian Muhammad Shahrur, author of the seminal book The Book and the Qur’an: A Contemporary Reading; Stefan Wild, Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages and Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn; Mohammad Amin Abdullah, Professor of Islamic Studies at the Sunan K. Islamic State University; Egyptians Adel Rifaat and Bahgate El Nadi (under the pen name Mahmoud Hussein), Political Scientists and Islamologists; and Dale Eickelman, Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations at Dartmouth College.
“The work of these scholars addresses issues of interpretation of the Qur’an and its implications for the adjustment of Muslim societies to the challenges of the modern world, including the legal and moral norms of the international community,” Tlili observed. “These thinkers have developed their ideas using both modern tools of critical inquiry, while at the same time relying on their deep knowledge of Islamic intellectual history and tradition and their experience of contemporary Muslim societies.”
New York University’s Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West emerged from the tragedy of September 11th, which highlighted the need for greater communication among and about the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world. The Center was founded as a forum for constructive debate among the various religious, intellectual, economic, and political sectors of American, European, and Islamic societies. It brings contentious issues between the Islamic world and the West into a more rational plane and promotes this approach to a wide audience, including the important constituencies of policy and decision-makers, policy analysts, the media, and educational institutions. For more, go to www.centerfordialogues.org.