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Ongoing Projects

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DFG - Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice PDFLogo



Sharia, universality, and pluralism: translocal dimensions of legal culture and normativity

Lutz Rogler
Birgit Krawietz

The project brings into discussion, in a translocal perspective, a group of problems associated with the evolution and transformation of normative orientations as well as legal discourses and institutions in Islamic societies and within Muslim minorities in Western societies today. The translocal dimensions of the issues to be examined result on the one hand from normative-legal aspects of globalisation, and on the other from inner-Islamic discourses on the normativity of Sharia in modern age or on the role of the normative-legal heritage thereof in the preservation of a specific (legal-)cultural Islamic identity. In the closing decades of the 20th century, the Sharia has increasingly become a political issue in several countries of the "Islamic world" as an "intersection point" of debates concerning culture, religion and identity-preserving heritage. Demands raised in this context and practical efforts towards defining the Sharia as the "authentic" Islamic normativity also appeared to be attempts to fend off the hegemony of a Western legal culture or the normative-legal aspects of globalisation.

Normativity, ethics, social philosophy: the paradigm of maqasid al-sharia as the foundation of "universal" legal morals

Lutz Rogler

This sub-project will examine intellectual-historical and current conceptual associations of an issue, which have found expression towards the end of the 20th century in the inner-Islamic discussion on the maqasid al-sharia (intentions or finalities of the Sharia). The concept of the maqasid, historically originating from the systematics of usul al-fiqh, was first established as a common ground in legal-methodological discussion, mainly among reformist circles. With the inclusion of ethical and social-philosophical aspects, the maqasid have gained the character of a "paradigm", which should serve as an "authentic" Islamic foundation for "universal" legal morals and facilitate new, "modern" normative orientations while preserving a specific Islamic legal-cultural identity. The principal concern of the sub-project is to reconstruct the intellectual-historical background which has formed the groundwork for the "upswing" of the maqasid concept since the 1980s, as well as to understand the translocal ideological movements which have given rise to the current discussion on "maqasid al-sharia" being an ethical, socio-philosophical paradigm with normative recognition rather than a legal-methodological concept.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and Our Times

Birgit Krawietz

This subproject explores how various normative Islamic doctrines were received in the 19th and 20th century, taking the Hanbalitic theologian, jurist, and preacher Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (died 1350) as an example. Although the literalistic text approach of this renowned Sharia teacher has sometimes led to his being called reactionary, his comprehensive and complex works radiate in several different directions. His writings have been intensely exploited, particularly in recent years, and adapted to very different contexts. Analysis of the relevant literature shows a predominance of Salafitic strategies to eclectically blend Ibn Al-Qayimm’s remarks on Islamic normativity in the broadest sense, using even secular or scientific knowledge. The review of Islamic publications on and by Ibn al-Qayyim will include the Maghreb states and the Middle East as well as the Indian Subcontinent.