The Centre for Political Ideologies hosts new project on Modern Arabic Islamic Thought

The Centre for Political Ideologies is pleased to be able to host a new project under the leadership of Ronald. L. Nettler, as part of its programme on the comparative study of political thought.

The field of modern Arabic Islamic intellectual history has experienced some expansion in recent years. New books, articles and dissertations have enhanced our knowledge of the subject; but relative to other aspects of modern Islam and the modern Middle East, this intellectual history has as yet hardly been touched. Prominent in much recent scholarship is the conception of this Islamic thought as response to, and part of, its social and political environment. With this, there has been a dearth of analytical studies of the content of this thought and of its various intellectual contexts and perspectives. Ideas and intellectual methods-the very stuff of thought-have been too little analysed against their own internal and historical backgrounds and in relation to other histories. Thus, for example, we lack adequate knowledge of technical vocabularies, semantic fields, basic concepts and their inter-relationships, modes of argumentation, relationships with pre-modern Islamic thought and connections with Western and other intellectual traditions from a comparative perspective. The project will address these issues in the modern Arabic Islamic intellectual sphere through a variety of ongoing activities, including research in relevant subjects, seminars and lectures and workshops and publications. The emphasis always will be on detailed textual study and analysis of primary sources. Participants will comprise a small international group of scholars. The project will also hope to attract the involvement of other institutions.