Advancing theological and scientific literacy for today’s ʿulamāʾ
2.1.2 Venture of Islam
Major ethnic groups and subgroups in northern Africa and Middle East. US Library of Congress, 1989.
In the short term the headlines make it very difficult to turn from immediate crises that fuel the popular media to calmer assessments—at once more productive and more predictive—of historical change. That is why Hodgson is both so necessary and so perilous as a catalyst for our 21st century engagement with Islam (LA Review of Books, 2014).
This book review provides insight into the life and work of arguably one of the most important historians of Islam in the 20th century, Marshall Hodgson. We recommend students read his work, The Venture of Islam, though we cannot reproduce it here for copyright reasons. Hodgson’s unique approach to Islamic and world history is characterized by terms that help us reconceptualize history and geography not in relation to Europe (as the very term “Middle East” does), but in relation to land, climate, and the rhythms of agrarian civilization.
The Madrasa Discourses project proposes that a conciliation of traditional Islamic thought with contemporary scientific and philosophical worldviews can result in orthodox affirmations of human dignity essential for peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic world.