This project will explore issues pertaining to one of humankind’s central psycho-spiritual concerns, namely the notion of Divine communication, with its central focus on the concept of revelation, which, in the Muslim context, is the domain of a long-since semi-abandoned speculative theological tradition, to the resurrection of which this Project aims to contribute.
This project is located within the broader framework of the IFMT’s overarching aim, which is to contribute to both the revival of Muslim theological discourse (speculative and pastoral) and the restoral of ‘God-talk’ to a position of centrality in the academic and personal-social lives of Muslim believers.
In an attempt to resolve the overarching question, ‘Does Muslim theology, as it stands, provide us with a comprehensive theory of revelation?’, three subsidiary questions need to be considered. Firstly: Is Divine revelation in Islam confined to the Quran, or is the creation in toto to be interpreted as being revelatory of the Divine?
The second question is: How are our prophetic figures to be understood as sources of pastoral theology and practical wisdom? More saliently, what impact does the doctrine of prophetic infallibility have on the pastoral dynamic? Is prophetic infallibility pertinent only to the communication of the Divine message, or does it also pertain to the acta, dicta and behaviours of the prophets in what is technically their non-prophetic capacity, namely, as ordinary – but impeccable – human beings?
The third question is: What is the revelatory role of angels in Muslim cosmology? Second only to Divine unity (tawhid) in the six ‘articles of faith’, belief in angels is undoubtedly the ‘forgotten principle’ in Muslim theological discourse.
By the end of the Project we aim to have: convened a workshop and a seminar; published a multi-authored volume; convened book launches in three different countries; and produced a multi-media series – i.e. videos, podcasts and kinetic typographical films – highlighting the project’s central themes. Through providing material which aims to respond theologically to certain key existential concerns, the desired impact will be the raised awareness of ongoing attempts to contribute to the revival of an authentic tradition of Muslim speculative theology.