Advanced Islamic Theology Program | Starts 18th September 2017

The Advanced Islamic Theology Program

A comprehensive course on Islamic theological beliefs and creed (‘aqida) and the Western intellectual tradition – philosophy, theology and history. This course is to provide a better understanding of the world we live in, the beliefs and ideologies people hold, and the method of dealing with modern ideological challenges such as atheism and liberalism.

This is the ideal course for imams, community leaders, Islamic scholars, teachers, or just discerning individuals wanting to understand the Islamic faith in detail and modern day ideological challenges.

Brief Summary

The advanced Islamic theology program will consist of two modules:

Module 1: The Islamic theological tradition

The first module will introduce the students to the Islamic theological tradition through a detailed study of two major primary theological texts namely a commentary of al-‘Aqida alTahawiyya by Imam Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi al-Hanafi (d. 321 AH) and Sharh al-Kharida al-Bahiyya of Imam Ahmad al-Dardir al-Maliki (1204 AH).

The study of both these celebrated classical Maturidi and Ash’ari texts will cover some of following issues:

  • What Muslims must believe about Allah, the Prophets, and all that is transmitted
  • The underlying methodology of mainstream Islamic beliefs
  • The centrality of Allah’s transcendence
  • The key arguments and doctrines related to the proofs for the existence of God
  • The essence and attributes of God
  • The subject of prophetology, inimitable nature of the Qur’an, angelology, eschatology, political theology, free-will and predestination.
  • A chronological overview of the emergence, development and the key doctrines of the different major sects within Muslim thought.
  • A brief overview of traditional Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf)
  • Section A: Exploring the doctrinal details of the Ahl al-sunna wal-jama‘ah.
    • A focus on the key arguments and doctrines related to the proofs for the existence of God, essence and attributes of God, prophetology, inimitable nature of the Quran, angelology, eschatology, political theology, free-will and predestination.
    • These doctrines will be studied with the underlying rational and textual evidences through the aforementioned two major primary theological texts but significantly also through prominent marginalia commentaries.
  • Section B: Exploring the historical development of the Islamic theological tradition(s).
    • A chronological overview of the emergence, development and the key doctrines of the different major sects within Muslim thought through the study of classical and modern[1] heresiographical works.

Module 2: The Western intellectual tradition

The second module will introduce the students to the essential ideas, thinkers, terminologies, texts, methodologies and debates within the Western intellectual tradition – philosophy, theology, history, polity.  Furthermore, students will develop practical skills through aspects of the trivium – thinking correctly (logic), writing well (grammar), speaking persuasively (rhetoric).

Where possible a comparative approach between the Islamic and the Western intellectual traditions will be elaborated.

This module will deal with the theism-atheism debate on theological problems, for instance, the arguments for the existence of god, divine attribute paradoxes, problem of evil, morality, science vs religion, religious truth, epistemology, along with questions related to tradition, modernity, postmodernity, relativism, feminism, gender fluidity, science (evolution, AI), ethics (sexual and biomedical), psychology, societal norms and political science.

Here are more of the details:

  • Section A: Exploring the major philosophical trends, thinkers and texts.
    • A chronological overview from the early Greeks, Neo-platonic Arabs, Scholasticism, Rationalists, Empiricists, Kantian thought, post-Kantian trends such as the continental and analytical schools.
  • Section B: Exploring the main sub-disciplines of western philosophy such as epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, ethics, philosophy of science.
    • The focus will be through the key ideas within theism-atheism debate on theological problems for instance the arguments for the existence of god, divine attribute paradoxes, problem of evil, divine hiddenness, morality, science vs religion, religious truth and epistemology.
  • Section C: Exploring the foundations of the trivium.
    • Thinking correctly by studying classical logic (Aristotelian and Stoic), critical thinking (focusing on avoiding fallacious reasoning and false appeals) and an overview of the development of logic from the early Greek foundations to the modern mathematical
    • Writing well by revisiting grammar, developing research and analytical reading skills as well as learning how to write academic essays.
    • Speaking persuasively by studying essentials of rhetoric theory.
  • Section D: Exploring contemporary case studies.
    • To analyse and apply the content taught to current and unprecedented questions as well as provide cogent answers to controversial questions posed regarding the Islamic intellectual tradition.
    • Case studies on questions related to tradition, modernity, postmodernity, relativism, feminism, gender fluidity, science (evolution, AI), ethics (sexual and biomedical), psychology, societal norms and political science.

 

Teachers: Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera, Ustadh Imran Iqbal and others.

This program taken along with the Advanced Islamic Jurisprudence Program is intended to create confidence in religious leadership, imamat, teaching and generally dealing with the wider intellectual, sociological and religious issues.

This course is open to brothers and sisters and will also be offered online. It requires sufficient Arabic skills to understand the Arabic texts covered. Advanced students of Arabic and sacred knowledge may also apply.

This course is due to begin mid September 2017.
Duration: 1 year, 3 classes a week (3 hours evenings)

Times: Monday to Wednesday 5:30pm to 8:30pm British Standard Time (1:30pm to 4:30pm US Eastern Time)

This courses is available online with recordings available for people in different time zones who cannot attend live.

This program taken along with the Advanced Islamic Theology Program is intended to create confidence in religious leadership, imamat, chaplaincy, teaching and generally dealing with the wider intellectual, sociological and religious issues.

Cost
Full Course £1,499.00
Module 2 Only £799.00
(A discount will be applied for taking the Advanced Theology and Jurisprudence Programs together.)

Venue: Whitethread Institute, 329-333 High Street (2nd floor), Stratford, London E15 2TF (former site of Interlink College)

For more information please email courses@whitethreadinstitute.org
To register for this course, please complete the form below.

 

Comments or questions are welcome.

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