Call for Papers
Rethinking Islam at the
Turn of the 21st Century:
Liberal Trends, Agents
of Change and Reassessments of Islamic Traditions
5-7 June, 2017
Dr. Muhammad Al-Atawneh&Ms. Sabina
Since the inception of Islam,
Muslims have been debating a wide range of legal, theological and moral issues
that have shaped their societies and lives.
Throughout Islamic history different
schools of thought and jurisprudence, ranging
from extremely violent movements to those described by some scholars as ‘liberal’,
have put forth countless interpretations and varied understandings of the Muslim scriptures. The 21st
century is no different. In recent decades, we have witnessed a plethora of
movements that offer a wide range of contrasting interpretations of Islamic
values and their implementation in Muslim societies. One example of such a debate
is the disagreement over the status of women, in which liberals argue for
complete freedom and equality, while a spectrum of fundamentalist thinkers and
movements promote different forms of strictures and limitations on women in the
The current workshop will
explore the ideas and forces that aspire to bring about change in Muslim
societies, with special emphasis on liberal trends. It will suggest that the
notion of ‘liberal Islam’, as identified by a small group of western scholars
and described by Charles Curzman in his anthology, Liberal Islam: A sourcebook, as
being: “a paradigm shift in the academic study of Islam”, requires further
methodological, theoretical and empirical investigation.
Although ‘liberal Islam’ will
receive a great deal of attention in this workshop, we would like to place it
alongside other ideological and social forces that do not fit the label
‘liberal’, yet offer new interpretations of Islam--such as Islamist activists
who articulate nuanced visions on the status of minorities and women in Muslim
This workshop is open to scholars from
various disciplines and interests in Islamic studies. We look forward to having
a multifaceted discussion, including, but not limited to, the following topics:
Islamic movements and organizations.
Liberal Islamic thinkers.
Reconstruction of religious thought in Islam.
Rethinking the Qur’an and Islamic traditions.
Islam, civil liberties and human rights.
Islam and democracy.
Islamic feminism and women’s rights.
and the ‘Arab Spring’.
and legitimacy of change and innovation
fundamental concepts, such as ‘pubic interest’
three-day workshop will be held from 5-7 June, 2017 at Ben-Gurion University of
the Negev. Those interested in participating are asked to submit an abstract of
their lecture/paper in English by October 1, 2016. Each proposal should present
the main statements and contribution to the subject-matter of the workshop in
300 words or less. Notification of acceptance for participation in the
workshop will be given by 15 October, 2016. Participants whose papers have been
accepted will be expected to
submit an advanced copy of their working paper for distribution to the other
participants no later than 30 April 2017. Participants from abroad will be
offered round-trip airfare and lodging.
Proposals should be addressed by E-mail
Dr. Muhammad Al-Atawneh: email@example.com
Ms. Sabina Abdulaev firstname.lastname@example.org