Accurate Knowledge: Implications of ‘Lived Islamic Theology’ for the Academic Study of Islamic Disciplines
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations. 2018, 29 (4), 465-483. 10.1080/09596410.2018.1523344
This article discusses the relationship between, on the one hand, the academic study of Islamic disciplines within university faculties of humanities and theology, including religious studies, and, on the other, ‘lived Islamic theology’, i.e. the diverse Islamic institutional discourses that inform individuals’ religious knowledge and practices. Here, ‘lived Islamic theology’ refers to research from the Norwegian cities of Trondheim and Oslo. The analytical model is Michel de Certeau’s, Pierre Bourdieu’s and Jürgen Habermas’s concepts of discourse and ‘capital’. We argue that the academic study of Islamic disciplines is a prerequisite for accurate public knowledge about ‘lived Islamic theology’; that it potentially increases the ‘cultural capital’ assigned to Islamic knowledge in the public sphere, and thereby enables citizens to contribute to the common good through Islam; and that it can enrich the humanities by showing how Islamic disciplines correlate with ‘Western’ philosophical, hermeneutical, ethical, linguistic, political and historical disciplines.