Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Whereas Islamic law and Islamic theology are usually discussed separately, this article examines the relationship between the two in Islamic Studies scholarship. After defining the terms “law” and “theology,” this article offers three historiographical approaches to the subject, namely: “Orientalist,” “Revisionist,” and “Pragmatist”, each reflecting assumptions about the function of Islamic law in Muslim communities. Orientalists are skeptical of Islamic religious texts, and argue that Islamic law and theology are unconnected, static sciences that have little to offer modern Muslims. Revisionists re-read Islamic sources to suggest that Islamic law was once a theological enterprise that devolved into legalism, but that it can be revived by returning to theology. Pragmatists, using subaltern and feminist lenses, argue that Islamic law and theology are interconnected and evolving sciences that perpetually animate Muslim discourse. The article concludes by discussing the political import of this topic, and suggesting avenues for further research.

Keywords: Islamic law, Islamic theology, Islamic Studies, Orientalists, Islamic religious texts, Enlightenment, Revisionists, Pragmatists, Islam, Muslims

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.