Intellectual Pan-Islamism and the New Islamic Civilization: The Reformist Vision of an Islamic Publisher in Beirut

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The recently-deceased Shaykh Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah was one of the most influential advocates of what anthropologist Lara Deeb has called “authenticated Islam,” an approach to textual interpretation which stresses the individual pursuit of religious knowledge and the conscious assent to religious injunctions. This approach has dovetailed historically with an increased interest in and concern with the intellectual legacies of Islam on the part of ordinary Muslims, most of whom are living through the postcolonial predicament of establishing the foundations of local political order on the basis of structures of governance whose genealogy extends to the European Enlightenment as well as to colonial legal regimes, local practices, and even older imperial histories. Accordingly, the question of what “Islamic civilization” has been or could be has gained political urgency for many Muslim intellectuals since the formal independence of Muslim-majority nation-states. The Center of Civilization for the Development of Islamic Thought is a Beirut-based Shi’a Islamist publishing house which has entered into this debate by putting forth a new view of Islamic Civilization as a global, pan-Islamic endeavor by Muslim intellectuals to facilitate interconfessional intellectual exchange. Led by a reformist Lebanese cleric of Iranian heritage, Shaykh Yahya Mirzaei, the Center’s employees hope their publishing will spur such intellectual cooperation, leading to research-based Islamic political theory that neither rejects nor idealizes Western models.

Smolenski, N. (2016, July 17). Intellectual Pan-Islamism and the New Islamic Civilization: The Reformist Vision of an Islamic Publisher in Beirut. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/2nujm


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