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Islamic Studies in the light of Future Studies: A Critical Assessment

April 19, 2016 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


payaThe aim of this lecture is to critically explore the ways in which Futures Studies could help in the development of Islamic Studies. Once upon a time, ‘Islamic Studies’ (in the narrow sense of the word) was limited to certain number of disciplines of interest either to traditional practitioners in seminaries who dealt with it with the epistemic attitude of ‘committed insiders,’ or orientalists who were studying it with the mentality of ‘outsiders’.Today however, Islamic Studies,

as an integral part of the larger field of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), covers a large number of disciplines and is pursued by scholars from different backgrounds who approach it with the ‘objective’ eyes of unprejudiced researchers. Futures Studies, as a relatively new member of the family of HSS, like many other members of this family, is part science, part technology. It differs however from all other disciplines in HSS in that its subject-matter is futures (plural) states of affairs. In its capacity as a science (branch of knowledge) it explores possible futures in order the shed light on our present situation. In its role as a technology it provides researchers with a wide range of methods which help them to collect the required data or take necessary steps to implement their chosen scenarios. Whether or not Futures Studies can help to improve Islamic Studies is a question which will be critically examined in this talk.

Ali Paya is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster and a Professor of Philosophy at the Islamic College in London. Among his publications, Analytic Philosophy: Problems and Prospects received the award for the best philosophical book of 2003 in Iran. His recent publications include, The Misty Land of Ideas and the Light of Dialogue: An Anthology of Comparative Philosophy: Western & Islamic (editor, 2014), A Critical Pathology of the Social Sciences and Humanities in Iran (co-author, 2015), Analytic Philosophy from a Critical Rationalist Point of View (2016), Iraq, Democracy and the Future of Islam (co-author, 2012); “A Critical Assessment of the Notions of ‘Islamic Science’ and ‘Islamisation of Science/Knowledge’, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 30, 2016; “Social, Economic, Political, and Intellectual Changes in Iran Since 1960s” (co-author) in, Handbook of Wellbeing and Quality of Life in the Islamic World, 2016; and “A Popperian (Critical Rationalist) Approach to Religion”, in Karl Popper and the Problem of Change, 2016; “Faqih as Engineer: A Critical Assessment of the Epistemological Status of Fiqh”, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 33 (1), 2016; “A Critical Assessment of Foresight Methodologies”, the Athens Journal of Technology & Engineering on Foresight, 2015; “Transdisciplinary Approach: A Critical Appraisal from an ‘Islamic Perspective’”, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS), 32 (1), 2015.


April 19, 2016
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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