Kuch Khaas: Lecture - Islamic Political Philosophy Part-ll

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Is Islamic Political Philosophy Still Relevant? Political philosophy deals with perception of concepts such as state, power, legitimacy, political authority, social justice and freedom. The main objective of this lecture is to provide an appreciation of the nature of political thought in the Islamic world from its inception under the religious and political leadership of the Prophet, to its elaboration by philosophers, theologians and sufis. It is important to note the place that political philosophy is accorded in Islamic philosophical thought. In the works that can be considered the classics of Islamic political philosophy, the discussion of politics often takes place toward the end and almost never in the beginning. The beginning of the great works of Islamic philosophy have always devoted to the exposition of the nature of ultimate Reality. This is observable in the case of most Islamic philosophers, from al-Farabi to Avicenna to Mulla Sadra. The lecture will locate Islamic political philosophy as a part of Islamic philosophy and metaphysics. Most discussions of Islamic political thought will come from and proceed to Islamic metaphysical doctrines. The second part of this lecture will address the transformation of the Muslim world due to modernity and the impact of modernism on Islamic way of thinking. The modern Islamic world has seen different type of world conditions, and therefore different quality of political thinking and different amounts of political philosophy. Political Philosophy in the contemporary Islamic world is at risk of becoming increasingly devoid of its metaphysical component as a consequence of conditions of modernity. As the future of the modern world itself is uncertain, owing to the inner contradictions of modernity, many turn to perennial answers of the world spiritual traditions, and Islamic tradition among others is rich with discourse that may be remedial to the issues of global distributive and environmental justice. Dr. Ejaz Akram Associate Professor (Religion & Politics) Lahore University of Mgmt Sciences (LUMS) E-mail: ejaz@lums.edu.pk About the Speaker: Dr. Ejaz Akram is Associate Professor, Politics/Religion/Philosophy at Lahore University of Management Sciences. Dr. Ejaz Akram joined the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS in August 2005. He holds a Ph.D. in World Politics (Specializations: Religion & Politics and Comparative Political Philosophy) from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He also holds two M.A. degrees: Master of Arts in Comparative & Regional Studies (Middle East & South Asia) from the School of International Service at American University in Washington D.C., and Master of Arts in International Relations from CUA, Washington, D.C. Before joining LUMS, Dr. Akram was at the American University in Cairo and he has also been a part of the summer faculty of Franklin College, Switzerland. His book Ideals and Realities of Regional Integration in the Muslim World: The Case of the ECO, was published by Oxford University Press; He is currently working on his second book Spirit and Tradition of Islamic Political Philosophy.

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