CfP: Conference on islamic Treatise-Literature (rasāʾil) from 13th-19th Centuries in Osnabrück/Germany

Hakki Arslan's picture
Call for Papers
July 31, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Law and Legal History, Middle East History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

International Conference on islamic treatise-Literature (rasāʾil) on 25th - 27th March 2020 in Osnabrück: 

Islamic Law and Theology in Context - The Treatise-Literature (rasāʾil) as Documentation of Socially Relevant Discussions in Pre-Modern Muslim Societies (13th - 19th Centuries)


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. Since this literature covers topics that discuss contemporary social practices, it provides valuable information about how scholars and intellectuals responded to those practices, hence, reflects the intersection between theory and practice. 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 do these texts say about contextuality,  flexibility and pragmatism of Islamic law? What conclusions can be drawn from this data for the treatise-literature (rasāʾil)?

We welcome papers on single or a number of treatises and counter-treatises written in Islamic Law and Theology (fiqh, kalām, taṣawwuf etc.). They should address the content of the treatise as well as the social, political and intellectual context of its author and the audience, in order to fully understand the author-text-context relation. 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.

Deadline: Extended to July 31st July