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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Islamic Law, Epistemology and Modernity

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Ashk P. DahlenUniversity of Tehran, Iran

ISBN13: 9780415945295
ISBN: 0415945291
Published: March 2003
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Format: Hardback
Price: £110.00

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This book is a comprehensive analysis of the major intellectual positions in the philosophical debate on Islamic law that is occuring in contemporary Iran. In light of the relationship between global modernity and the religion of Islam, the purpose is to analyze to what extent these positions and their understanding of questions of epistemology, methodology and hermeneutics are engendered by the cognitive and ontological structures of modernity. Among the pivotal figures who are considered in this respect are primarily Abdullah Jawadi-Amuli (traditionalism), Muhammad Mujtahid-Shabistari (modernism) and Abd al-Karim Surush (postmodernism), but other individuals who belong to the intellectual elite of Iran are also included. The major argument presented is that modernity no longer is categorically conceptualised as an external phenomenon among many religious intellectuals, but that there is instead an effort on their part to develop indigenous expressions of its driving principles.;In an attempt to define some of the contents of a supposed Islamic modernity, this book suggests that Islamic postmodernism has paradigmatic relevance and reflects a thoroughly transitional phenomenon within Shi'i speculation on divine law. This is a topic that is relevant for the modern Islamic world in general and Iran in particular. Being the most fashionable and disputed intellectual in contemporary Iran, Surush's thought has a wide-ranging impact upon all intellectual discourses in the country and he is a major inspiration behind the new reform movement in Iranian politics.

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Islamic Law
1. Introduction 2. The Nature of Islamic Law 3. Categories of Traditional Islamic Epistemology 4. Shi'i Legal Dogmatics 5. Islamic Traditionalism and Islamic Modernism 6. Surush on the Nature of Islamic Law 7. Surush's Theory of Contraction and Expansion of Religious Knowledge Conclusions