Universität Erfurt

Rationale

Rationale

In contemporary history, madrasas have played a significant role in configuring Muslim religious thought and their contributions have been momentous in shaping new political identities and structural changes in society. In the context of South Asia, the knowledge tradition of Dars-e Nizami has been an important factor in serving as a socio-religious framework for various dominating schools of thought such as the Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahl-e Hadith, Shiite traditions, and Jamaat-e Islami. In fact, madrasas established during the late 19th and 20th centuries produced several luminaries that left a strong impact on South Asian cultures, even at the state level. This may be credited to the fact that in terms of curricular approach, Dars-e Nizami was highly pragmatic, pluralistic and divergent in nature.

While madrasas have continued to inspire ideologies, nation-building processes and/or socio-religious movements, at the same time these places of learning have shared a complex relationship with the state. This holds particularly true in the context of geo-political world order that has been shaped over the past two decades as madrasas have received worldwide attention, particularly in Pakistan. Contrary to popular assertion spread by media and scholarship alike that the education received in madrasas can be limited in scope, there is credible evidence to suggest that madrasas rather introduce their students to philosophy, law, science, ethics, languages and of course religious education, harkened back to the tradition of pluralism and the ethics of ikhtilaf or constructive conflict.

At the Chair of Muslim Cultural & Religious History in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Erfurt, we believe and argue that educational training in madrasas has a strong potential to create inter- and intra-faith harmony. In order to fully utilize this potential, the collaboration of University of Erfurt with all five major schools of thought in Pakistan aims to create a frame of reference to further extend and highlight the prevalent tradition of tolerance in madrasas and the management of disagreement.  Such collaboration will also provide a strong potential for western academia to learn from the knowledge repository available in madrasa curriculum such as the deeply anchored Islamic jurisprudence, akhlaq tradition, Sufi discourses and Hadith studies. We believe that these scholarly traditions can therefore ascertain each other by acknowledging the values of peace and religious pluralism, while appreciating religio-cultural diversity and coexistence.

It is with this motivation that the Chair of Muslim Cultural & Religious History at the University of Erfurt wishes to collaborate with all major schools of thought in Pakistani religious seminaries and to conduct joint workshops for their students. These workshops are expected to deal with the issue of religious (in)tolerance from the perspective of social, cultural and religious studies. The participants in the planned workshops will be encouraged to advance their own solutions from within their traditions while also employing the scientific tools and epistemological insights provided during the workshops. 

Hasnain Bokhari, letzte Änderung: 11.07.2018

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