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Michael Kennedy: Reformist Approaches to Qur’anic Exegesis in the 20th Century

Michael Kennedy: Reformist Approaches to Qur’anic Exegesis in the 20th Century

Among all major religions and throughout their historical existence, religious exegeses have been a source of controversy as well as means of confronting and adapting in the ever-changing face of modernity. Although people throughout history have experienced societal changes, the terrors of war, and other challenges to their worldview, the twentieth century brought forth a(…)

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Michael Kennedy: Variation in Feminist Qur’anic Interpretation

Michael Kennedy: Variation in Feminist Qur’anic Interpretation

Gender has played an important role in traditional interpretations of the Qur’an and in the development of Muslim culture. This is largely due to the inclusion of gendered language, roles, and values in the text of the Qur’an. Contemporary feminist readings of the Qur’an stem from recognition of women’s equality with men and a break(…)

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Michael Kennedy: Spiritual and Material Accountability in the Qur’an

Michael Kennedy: Spiritual and Material Accountability in the Qur’an

While religions are often conceptualized as systems of personal attachment and belief, many religions function to build long-lasting institutions of positive, peaceful change to human society. Many verses of the Qur’an are excellent examples of religion serving the function of social engineering, the effects of which can be easily overlooked as normative elements of modern(…)

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Michael Kennedy: Fear and the Day of Resurrection in Islamic Eschatology

Michael Kennedy: Fear and the Day of Resurrection in Islamic Eschatology

Within the framework of Islamic cosmology, the human experience is marked apart from the rest of God’s creation in its ignorance and search of self-purpose. In my essay on this cosmology, I outlined the role of nature and other forms of life in helping humans identify the source of design, God. The Qur’an, hadith, and(…)

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Michael Kennedy: Human’s Role Within the Qur’anic Cosmology in the 21st Century

Michael Kennedy: Human’s Role Within the Qur’anic Cosmology in the 21st Century

Among God’s many titles, God’s role as Creator is emphasized in Qur’anic descriptions of nature, humans, and their divine relationships to God and one another. Humans, all of nature, and all the material world were not only created by God, but each creation serves a divinely appointed purpose. In Islamic cosmology, the purpose of humans(…)

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Michael Kennedy: The Prophet Muhammad, Empathy, and People of Faith

Michael Kennedy: The Prophet Muhammad, Empathy, and People of Faith

For God’s words to be shared with humanity through the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad had to be a worthy recipient. As the knowledge of the Qur’an was often directed towards the Prophet Muhammad as the subject, the Prophet had to serve as a vessel to represent all humanity. I believe that the Prophet Muhammad’s ability(…)

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