Theologies and Ethics of Justice New Directions for Islamic Thought in the 21st Century

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Jay Willoughby

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Abstract

The Summer Institute for Scholars 2017, held at the IIIT headquarters in
Herndon, VA, from July 26-29, brought together a group of scholars to address
“Theologies and Ethics of Justice: New Directions for Islamic Thought
in the 21st Century.” To present as many of their ideas as possible, the wideranging
and thought-provoking comments of the chairs and discussants are
not recounted
The event began with welcoming remarks by Ermin Sinanović (program
director and director of research, IIIT), Abubaker al-Shingieti (executive director,
IIIT) and Hisham Altalib (president, IIIT). The participating scholars,
students, and special guests were introduced and viewed a film on IIIT.
The special panel on “Justice in Islamic Thought” was addressed by
Ramon Harvey (Ebrahim College, London) and Jonathan A.C. Brown
(Georgetown University; via Skype). Ramon Harvey’s paper, “The Qur’an
and the Just Society: An Enquiry into Scriptural Theology, Ethics, and
Hermeneutics,” introduced the theoretical framework of his forthcoming
book, The Qur’an and the Just Society. He presented the basic underlying
enquiry: the search for the meaning of societal justice within the Qur’anic
worldview. His argument proceeded in three steps: (1) justice in the Qur’an
must be situated within the broader “moral narrative” about the spiritual
journey of souls and societies and from which an implicit moral theology
can be detected; (2) that it is possible to build on such Qur’anic indications
to articulate a theological and ethical system that models it; and (3) that such
a system gives a meaningful epistemological foundation for a hermeneutics
to discover the Qur’an’s basic principles of justice when contextualized
within the initial Muslim community led by Prophet Muhammad ...

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