Metaphysics & Sociology

A lecture addressing the myth of metaphysical neutrality in sociology and some of the rationale behind the dismissal of metaphysical categories in the social sciences.

The piece concludes by asserting some normative elements of the Islamic social order and their raison d’être and how they reflect the unity of the Islamic sciences.

Points Relevant to Muslim – Catholic Dialogue

A summary of the main points gleaned from a research project commissioned by Tabah Foundation to examine the position of the Catholic Church in relation to Islam since Vatican II, and the underlying philosophical stances adopted with regard to dialogue with non-Christian faiths. The memorandum provides an outline of the Church’s doctrinal platform for Muslims engaged in such a process of dialogue.

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How We Got Here: A Critical Analysis of Niall Ferguson’s “The Ascent of Money”

Niall Ferguson’s “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World” offers a history of six crucial components to modern capitalism, the benefits these provide, and the consequences of their realization.

This review of Niall Ferguson’s The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World is divided into three sections. After introducing Ferguson, I summarize the themes and content of this conceptual history of modern finance, noting those arguments most relevant to a scholarly Islamic audience. In closing, I will attempt the following: Firstly, to discuss the intellectual climate that reflects Ferguson’s positions, those beliefs and values which frame his book. Secondly, to point out the relevance of conceptual histories to Islamic scholarship, taking Ferguson’s work as an inspiration to begin similar projects, albeit within and for the Islamic tradition. Lastly, to explain how conceptual histories of Islamic finance will provide depth to Islamic scholarship, on questions of finance, economics and the like. I will end with a series of questions designed to stimulate further discussion.

A Global Ethic: Its Scope and Limits

Taha Abderrahman, the author, holds that a critical window of opportunity remains open for theistic world views to collectively provide a program of shared ethics. However, it is his assertion that recent attempts to furnish a set of fundamental criteria, in the name of world religions, have failed to deliver on the promise. Drawing on the richness of Islamic theological systems, the author endeavors to provide both a critical analysis and  a corrective prescription.