Thursday, October 6, 2016

NYT Magazine piece on Marshall Hodgson

The 16th-century Persian painter Dust Muhammad wrote: “Verily our works point to us/so gaze after us at our works.” Human lives are so short; we leave behind so many sad people and so much unfinished work. But creative energy is transmitted down through the generations. For Hodgson, learning was love, and love was endless. In the loveless, waning days of 2016, it feels like a revelation: something we can point to and say, “This, too, was possible.” 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"The past is always new;

as life proceeds it changes, because parts of it that may have once seemed to have sunk into oblivion rise to the surface and others vanish without a trace because they have come to have such slight importance. The present conducts the past in the way a conductor conducts an orchestra. It wants these particular sounds, or those – and no others. That explains why the past may at times seem very long and at times very short... The only part of it that is highlighted is the part that has been summoned up to illumine, and to distract us from, the present.
-Italian author Italo Svevo in the 1920's. Quoted in Khaled El-Rouyaheb, Islamic Intellectual History in the Seventeenth Century: Scholarly Currents in the Ottoman Empire and the Maghreb, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 202-3, who quotes it from A. Assmann, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 7–8. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Recording of "The Secular and the Sacred in Higher Education": A Conversation with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. John Sexton, moderated by Rev. Dr. Serene Jones

In case you missed the incredible event last night (9/27), you can now listen to the full audio from The Secular and the Sacred in Higher Education: A Conversation with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. John Sexton, moderated by Rev. Dv. Serene Jones. This lecture was the annual Fritzi Weitzmann Owens Memorial Lecture at the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership at NYU and was cosponsored by the Islamic Center at NYU and the New York Community Trust.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jamillah Karim: Terence Crutcher, May God grant him the highest level of Paradise

The Goldziher Prize is an award for excellence in the coverage of American Muslims by an individual or team of U.S. journalists.
The Goldziher Prize was created in response to the rising fear and hateful actions toward American Muslims. The Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, an independent college in the Catholic Augustinian tradition, and the William and Mary Greve Foundation seek to publicly recognize and stimulate stories or opinion pieces about Muslims in the U.S. 
via Hussein

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

England’s Forgotten Muslim History (NYT, 9/17/2016).

It turns out that Islam, in all its manifestations — imperial, military and commercial — played an important part in the story of England. Today, when anti-Muslim rhetoric inflames political discourse, it is useful to remember that our pasts are more entangled than is often appreciated.

Jerry Brotton, a professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary University of London, is the author of The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

An Essential Human Respect: Reading Walt Whitman During Troubled Times

Monday, September 19, 2016

Walid Saleh on the centrality of the tafsir tradition in Islamic intellectual history

What should be clear from this summary is that Ibn 'Āshūr was writing a history of tafsīr as an intellectual historytafsīr as part of the religious history of Islam — not as a string of biographies of exegetes. The attention given to the teaching and transmission of tafsīr was for him central. The gloss here becomes a major part of this history; after the 13th century the gloss became the main vehicle for scholarly creativity in tafsīr. These insights into the history and development of the genre are simply unmatched in the field. Ibn 'Āshūr’s analysis once and for all resolves the problem of assessing the cultural significance of the genre of Qur'ān commentary in Islam. It proves that tafsīr was central to the concerns of the scholarly elite, central to the educational system, and central in the formation of the worldview of Muslim intellectuals. The Qur'ān as a hermeneutical concern was central to Islamic culture, and this hermeneutical concern, this intellectual obsession, was independent of any apparent utilitarian function. The Qur'ān as a text was
the abiding concern of the educational system.
-Saleh, Walid. "Marginalia and peripheries: a Tunisian historian and the history of Quránic exegesis." Numen 58, no. 2-3 (January 1, 2011): 284-313, 308.