Our aim is to host a 2 day kalam conference at Edinburgh University entitled; 'Reframing Islamic Philosophy-from Past to Future'. In the last 2 decades, Islam has become the focus of global attention. Academic institutions have seen a surge of interest in Islamic Studies. It is unfortunate however that most institutions in the Western world do not teach the more complex areas of Islamic philosophy, theology and ethics in any great depth. Students are often deprived of the rich history of classical Islamic thought in these disciplines.
This conference is a first step in reviving this discourse. We will invite leading scholars in Islamic philosophy, Sunni and Shi'a, to outline what they see as the main philosophical concerns that have resonated across the centuries, and which are still relevant today. Questions to be explored include themes of divine love and justice, causation and human freedom, to concerns around religious and social pluralism. These have a rich philosophical history and can be approached in multiple ways: the conference will determine the most fruitful areas of research and debate, also which can be brought to bear on contemporary debates in both the public sphere and academic study.
Our long-term ambition is to establish Edinburgh as a leading center in Islamic philosophy, aided by greater collaborative scholarship with a worldwide network of scholars and institutions. Also, to increase interest in Islamic philosophy and ethics, including developing a PhD and MSc programme in these areas. If successful, this would create a new generation of Templeton-funded scholars exploring issues of classical Islamic thought and its relevance for contemporary societies.
Prof. Siddiqui will then produce a document outlining key suggestions from the conference. This will recommend future work streams, suggest how younger scholars may be incentivised to address these topics, and identify which institutions might be involved in advancing such work.