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CFP Monotheisms in Medieval Islamic Thought

The Leiden University Centre for Islamic Thought and History (LUCITH) is hosting a two-day in-person conference on the topic of monotheism in medieval Islamic thought.

Organiser: Leiden University Centre for Islamic Thought and History (LUCITH)
Conference Date: 3-5 February 2025
Conference Location: Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
Abstract Deadline: 31st of October 2024

Although Islamic theology is famous for its radical emphasis on monotheism, the study of the historical, scriptural, theological, philosophical, mystical, and ideological conceptualizations of monotheism within Islamic thought has been surprisingly lacking. Although many studies have been written on how different Muslim thinkers have discussed divine nature, essence and attributes, few have been written on the idea of monotheism itself. To help fill this lacuna, this in-person conference aims to invite discussions that tackle the historical, philosophical, and theological dimensions of monotheism in early Islam and the centuries following, right up to the ninth and tenth century before the period of canonisations.

The conference will also invite discussions on what defines monotheism as a concept and metaphysical system. How does the Qurʾān and other scriptural sources define monotheism and the divergences from it, and how did later thinkers use or construct their own criteria? The conference will address key themes in metaphysics, religious history, Qurʾānic studies, and intellectual history. Suggested topics include:

  • Different Islamic perspectives on monotheism:
    • Philosophical
    • Theological
    • Mystical
    • Scriptural
    • Occult
  • Metaphysical concerns related to monotheism:
    • Divine simplicity
    • Monotheism, Dualism, and polytheism
    • Monism
    • Theism and Deism
    • Anthropomorphism
    • God and other metaphysical beings
  • Historical inquiries related to monotheism:
    • How does the Qurʾān and ḥadīth corpus define monotheism and associationism (shirk)?
    • What were (non-)monotheistic ideas in late antiquity and pre-Islamic Arabia which the Qurʾān engages?
    • What were the different conceptualisations of monotheism among the first and later generations of Muslims?
    • Why were certain conceptualizations of monotheism accepted or rejected in Islamic thought?
    • How did post-classical and modern conceptualisations of monotheism influence Islamic thought?

Selected participants might be asked to send in full articles which will be published as a book chapter in a collected volume with Brill.

For consideration of your proposal, please send a 300-word abstract in English to a.bdaiwi@hum.leidenuniv.nl along with your full name, current association, and rank by October 31, 2024. The language of the conference will be in English. Participants travel expenses and two-night stay in Leiden will be covered by the conference organisers.



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