Interactions between Traditional and Modern Theologies in Neo-Muʿtazilism: Revisting the Theological Ideas of Dr. Hassan Hanafi

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 PhD student, Comparative Studies of Religions, Christian Theology, University of Religions and Denominations

2 Associate professor, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

3 Assistant professor, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

10.22034/jid.2023.327141.2314

Abstract

The emergence of new perspectives on social issues within Islamic communities, influenced by the legacy of rationalist movements in the Arab world, indicates the modernization of traditional Islamic theology. Hassan Hanafi, a prominent contemporary Arab intellectual, has undertaken a philosophical examination of the issue, seeking to establish a bridge between the existing heritage and contemporary perspectives and theologies. His aim is to lay the groundwork for a contemporary theology. The project method is a civilizational and neo-Muʿtazilite approach that aims to establish a dominant theological discourse and provide a distinct identity to it. Traditional and modern theologies are two approaches that can be seen in Hanafi’s ideas. His objective is to shed light on the limitations of traditional theology in relation to social structures, contemporary perspectives, the future, as well as linguistic and discursive insufficiencies. In contrast, he seeks to draw upon the main theological principles to establish a new perspective given the discursive foundations. Traditional theology is commonly regarded as a supernatural theology that was suited to the early stages of Islamic civilization. Hanafi, on the other hand, endeavors to reshape it into a theology that is relevant and meaningful in the present era, aligning it with the evolving Islamic civilization of today. This research is grounded in theological principles and origins and employs discourse analysis as its primary method. It draws upon a range of theoretical frameworks, including Nietzschean-Foucauldian archeology and genealogy, as well as structuralist, constructivist, and phenomenological approaches.

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