Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad:“Klossowski's reading of Nietzsche from an Islamic viewpoint”.ITC Video Keynote

Prof. Tim Winter - Islamic Theology Conference Video Keynote: “Klossowski's reading of Nietzsche from an Islamic viewpoint” - St.Andrews Encyclopedia of Theology-May 13, 2024

Youtube Video:

Islam’s characteristic integration of a full monotheism with social and denominational difference lies at the heart of its attempt at a Dionysian supersession of Apollonian religion. Recent studies of the Muslim ‘culture of ambiguity’ by Wael Hallaq, Thomas Bauer and others, have emphasised the pre-modern Muslim love of provisionality, but offer few clues about its source. In this lecture we will be considering how one of Nietzsche’s most important interpreters may shed light on the nexus between tawhid and the celebration of a biotic order which by its nature remains in creative flux and indeterminacy. For more information, visit the conference website:

Amazon: A Culture of Ambiguity: An alternative History of Islam - Thomas Bauer

In the Western imagination, Islamic cultures are dominated by dogmatic religious norms that permit no nuance. Those fighting such stereotypes have countered with a portrait of Islam’s medieval “Golden Age,” marked by rationality, tolerance, and even proto-secularism. How can we understand Islamic history, culture, and thought beyond this dichotomy?

In this magisterial cultural and intellectual history, Thomas Bauer reconsiders classical and modern Islam by tracing differing attitudes toward ambiguity. Over a span of many centuries, he explores the tension between one strand that aspires to annihilate all uncertainties and establish absolute, uncontestable truths and another, competing tendency that looks for ways to live with ambiguity and accept complexity. Bauer ranges across cultural and linguistic ambiguities, considering premodern Islamic textual and cultural forms from law to Quranic exegesis to literary genres alongside attitudes toward religious minorities and foreigners. He emphasizes the relative absence of conflict between religious and secular discourses in classical Islamic culture, which stands in striking contrast to both present-day fundamentalism and much of European history. Bauer shows how Islam’s encounter with the modern West and its demand for certainty helped bring about both Islamicist and secular liberal ideologies that in their own ways rejected ambiguity―and therefore also their own cultural traditions.

Awarded the prestigious Leibniz Prize, 
A Culture of Ambiguity not only reframes a vast range of Islamic history but also offers an interdisciplinary model for investigating the tolerance of ambiguity across cultures and eras.


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