Is European Islam Experiencing an Ontological Revolution foe an Epistemological Awakening?

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Mohammed Hashas


European Islam, Contemporary Islamic Thought, Classical Islam, Modern Islam, Reformist Islam, Ontological Revolution, Epistemological Awakening, Kalam, Muʻtazila, Muslim Prometheus, Peaceful Metaphysical Rebellion, Pluralism, Ethics, Reason


This paper argues that European Islam is experiencing an ontological revolution that revisits epistemological foundations in order to endorse some basic values of modernity.1 In addition to revisiting the classical ontological-epistemological bond that characterizes most Islamic scholarship in the context of multicultural liberal societies, it emphasizes the questions of ethics and spirituality. Such an endeavor is described here as “revisionist-reformist,” revisionist in the sense that it is broadly a continuity of a rationalist trend in Islamic thought, and reformist in the sense that it updates a number of values that have for centuries been narrowed down to revealed/prescribed laws. This reformist tendency allows European Islam to open new pathways outside what could be called “classical dichotomous thought,” which sees only antagonism between reason and faith, or between religion and politics. Religion, ethics, and reason are considered inseparable ontologically and complementary epistemologically; they are not seen as mutually contradictory or antagonistic.

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