Speaker / Presenter:
This talk examines how 20th century Muslim scholars wrestled with the following questions: “How do modern modes of thinking affect the inherited sources of tradition?” And more specifically, “How do scriptural texts like the Qur’an evolve with historical change?”
Indian Muslim philosopher Muhammad Iqbal's (1877-1938) seminal work titled, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam addresses these questions as it attempts to place the Qur'an in conversation with modern philosophy and science. While his project opens up the possibility of mutually enriching relationships, it also leads him to reductionist readings of both the Qur'an and modernity. This presentation draws on semiotic theory to help identify and repair the conflicting tendencies of reasoning displayed in Iqbal's ambitious project and modern Qur’anic interpretation in general.