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Shahab Ahmed and the Hermeneutics of Islam

Issue: Vol 33 No. 2 (2020) Special Issue on Modern Thinking in Islam

Journal: Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/jasr.42442


In the posthumously published book, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic (2016), Shahab Ahmed (1966–2015) presented a new conceptualisation of Islam to address two points: to re-conceptualise Islam in terms of contradiction, and re-present what it meant to be Islamic as a challenge to existing conceptualisations. This article argues that Ahmed’s rethinking of Islam/Islamic is properly situated as a revivalist catholic hermeneutics, and as such, his conceptualisation is a reworking of insider discourse writ large. It further examines Ahmed’s hermeneutics through a Heideggerian lens.

Author: Milad Milani

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