Fresh Perspectives on Early Islamic Thought:
The Analysis of the Human Act
The workshop will be a unique forum for a collaborative approach to a notoriously difficult problem in Islamic theology. By gathering experts from diverse fields within Islamic studies, the workshop will chart the theological development across chronological and methodological borders, thereby illuminating the process by which religious ideas were discussed, transmitted, and taught in the classical period of Islam.
Participants at this workshop will engage in a series of directed discussions on the early Islamic theory of action, which arose in the context of the well-known debate about human freedom. The participants will concentrate on the development of the technical terminology and theoretical techniques used to analyze the human act as such. Unlike canonical studies of Islamic theology, however, the workshop aims at broadening the inquiry to include parallel developments in the history of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), Qur'anic commentary (tafsir), and related traditions. Finally, the participants discuss the Nachleben of these ideas in later Ash'arite and legal traditions.