The American Journal of Islam and Society would like to invite scholars and historians of Islamic law, legal theory, and practice, scholars of Islamic philosophy and ethics, and specialists in fields (economics, governance, family, etc.) where the notion of maqāṣid has been frequently deployed, to submit original research papers in any of the following areas:
Critical accounts of current and/or past scholarly conceptualizations of the notion of maqāṣid, including debates between advocates and critics.
Theory, critical evaluation, or re/constructive critique of maqāṣid in the conventional areas of Islamic fiqh as well as in novel areas such as public policy, political theory, economic theory, and family and gender norms.
How the maqāṣid discourse has been politicized by various states, elites, and movements for contradicting ends, and whether such politicization shifts the purpose-oriented and teleological basis of this discourse to result-oriented and self-serving, utilitarian reasoning.
How the maqāṣid discourse has contributed to framing reformist and feminist approaches to concerns about gender and sexual ethics in contemporary Islamic thought and Muslim societies.
In short, we invite scholars to evaluate fundamental theoretical, philosophical, and ethical questions about the maqāṣid discourse.
To elaborate, we invite studies that take into account the existing arguments from some established disciplinary perspective. We are not asking questions of the type: "How can the maqāṣid be deployed to solve x, y, and z" but rather, "What are (or have been in the past) the stakes, risks, benefits, pay-offs, and aporias, of deploying the maqāṣid discourse in general, or in a particular field?"
In particular, we encourage scholars to ask challenging questions such as
What, if any, are the ruptures or discontinuities—with respect to the epistemology, nature, motives, resources —between premodern maqāṣid discourse (formative period fiqh, al-Ghazālī, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām, al-Shāṭibī) and more recent proposals of maqāṣid?
Historically, what has been the relationship between the maqāṣid, traditional uṣūl al-fiqh (in its various versions), and the body of positive law in various schools (fiqh)? And, normatively, what ought this relationship to be?
How may the maqāṣid discourse be brought into productive conversation with the classical and modern theological and philosophical discussions on ethics, legal systems, and political thought?
Why should or should not maqāṣid discourse s replace the traditional uṣūl al-fiqh discourse? Does the maqāṣid discourse make scripture and tradition redundant or relevant and reinvigorated?
Those interested should submit an abstract of 500 words to email@example.com by February 19, 2021. Selected abstracts will receive a remuneration of $100 and an additional $500 upon final submission of a full paper (6000-10,000 words, notes included) if completed before JUNE 30, 2021.
In mid-May 2021 an online symposium will be convened where the selected papers will be presented and discussed. To be included in the symposium, the participants will be asked to submit either the full paper or a 1500-word written talk for circulation by three weeks prior to the symposium.
Full papers must be submitted by JUNE 30, 2021 to be eligible for the aforementioned award. All papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the American Journal of Islam and Society. Please contact the editors for any questions.
American Journal of Islam and Society (AJIS) is hosting a symposium based on the Call for Papers issued earlier this year on the topic of "Theory and Uses of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa" The symposium will be held over four days May 2 through May 5 between 10 am and 1 pm EST (Washington D.C. time) and will publicly broadcast live online. Our presenters include leading Muslim scholars of Islamic law as well as young and emerging researchers.
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