International Conference: Islamic Law and Theology in Context
About The Event
The Treatise-Literature (rasāʾil) as Documentation of Socially Relevant Discussions in Pre-Modern Muslim Societies (13th – 19th Centuries)
Date: March 25-27, 2020
Venue: Osnabrück University, Osnabrück, Germany
In the last twenty years, research on the history of Islamic Law has shifted from the Early Period to the Middle Periods, approaching all kinds of different genres and topics. Besides fatāwā-collections and commentaries (sharḥ and ḥāshiya), the treatise-literature (rasāʾil) seem to be a predominant medium of discussing
Treatises are short texts on current topics, which are not covered in the standard textbooks or were only covered in a very rudimentary and general sense. Still ignored widely in secondary literature in general, few studies have addressed topics such as tobacco and coffee consumption in the Ottoman Empire, the waqf system and the punishment of heretics etc.
Therefore, the following questions should stand in the middle of the studies:
– What topics of practical law or theology were discussed more intensely at a given time and location?
– What were the social and theological contexts of these discussions?
– Who was involved in these discussions?
– What was the motivation of the author? What were their arguments?
– What conclusions can be drawn from this data for the treatise-literature (rasāʾil)?
The conference focuses on the 13th to the 19th centuries with a main interest in the Ottoman and Mamluk Empires, and it aims to add to our understanding of the reality of Islamic theology and law in its historical and social context. Nevertheless, the investigation of treatises from other geographical areas are welcomed as well.
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Osnabrück University, Osnabrück