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Wahhabi-Shi’i Conflict

Question: What are the socio-political, religious and historical determinants of the Wahhabi-Shi’i encounter that should be studied in any solution to this encounter       In looking at the socio-political factors that lead to Wahhabi-Shi’i conflict, two issues come to the forefront: oil and Saudi Arabian identity. Primarily, oil has exacerbated both Wahhabi power(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Pre-Modern Muslim Interfaith Relations

Elizabeth Foster Response Paper #2 Question: Question: What were significant characteristics of the Muslim interfaith relations in pre-modern societies?   The root of the similarities between Christianity and Islam are rooted in the basis of their beliefs, first stemming from the fact that they are both Abrahamic faiths. In particular, Muslims and Christians shared the(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Muslim World and Modernity

Elizabeth Foster: Muslim World and Modernity

Elizabeth Foster   Religion and Politics in the Modern Muslim World   Question: Given arguments by Brown and Hallaq and also considering most recent political developments in the MENA Muslim states, how do you characterize most significant trends of Muslim responses to the crises of modernity   In looking at the variety of Muslim responses(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Early Muslim Political Philosophy

Elizabeth Foster   Religion and Politics in the Modern Muslim World Question: What religious and socio-political factors contributed the early Muslim political philosophy?   In categorizing periods of Islamic Politics as well as political though, the First Golden Era stands as Muslim ideal. This era includes the time of the prophet as well as the(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Sufism and Modernity

Prompt: The relevance and non-relevance of mystical views to modern life.   In a time when Islam is so often synonymous with inter-religious conflict, it is key to call attention to the often underlying messages of unity and acceptance. The Sufis manifest these attributes, approaching the universe with religious openness and tolerance. Considering the current(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: The Development of the Mystic Approach in Islam

Prompt: Historical and Social Causes of Mystical Approaches   The mystical approach to Islamic worship was rooted in that of the ascetic, who emerged in response to the materialism and unjustness of the Umayyad Dynasty. “Until the ninth century, Islamic spirituality fit almost exclusively within the framework of zuhd, a word that can be translated(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Mystic and Master

Question: Why role model/mentor as a human agency is a necessity in a Muslim mystical world view/Sufi order?   Sufism emphasizes the master-disciple relation in both it’s ability to produce knowledge uniquely the result of many masters with unique experiences as will as the further emphasis on one’s predecessors. This emphasis is illustrated through the(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: The Miracle of Life

Elizabeth Foster: The Miracle of Life

As a general answer to the question “what is the miracle of life,” I would have to respond life itself. Though this answer may appear convoluted, when looked at through an Islamic lens the answer becomes clearer. Under the teachings of the Qur’an, life was created and formulated by God, all aspects working in their(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Islamic Art

Elizabeth Foster: Islamic Art

Using mosques, specifically the Ka’bah that is described in depth in the writing by Titus Burkhardt, as a basis upon which one judges Islamic art, there are both huge discrepancies and huge similarities. Mosques, supremely the Ka’bah, are defined by their material void, for despite the often intricate exterior, inside there is little to nothing(…)

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