The term ijtihad is often invoked in public discourse to mean not only the disciplined method by which jurists arrive at answers to matters of law, but also a general ethos of innovative and independent thought. When deployed in this way, there is often a cultural critique at play that casts doubt on the ability of Islam to “keep up with the times.” This presentation examines how ijtihad was understood and argued for by Hanafi jurists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, paying particular attention to the ways in which these jurists’ conceptualization of the term was conditioned by modernist critiques of the period.
Date: Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
Time: 6pm Light Refreshments; 6:30pm Talk
Where: Conference Hall, Main Bldg, American Islamic College