Radical Reform by Tariq Ramadan
Islamic Ethics and Liberation

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Tariq Ramadan has emerged as one of the foremost voices of reformist Islam in the West, notable for urging his fellow Muslims to participate fully in the civil life of the Western societies in which they live. In this new book, Ramadan addresses Muslim societies and communities everywhere with a bold call for radical reform. He challenges those who argue defensively that reform is a dangerous and foreign deviation, and a betrayal of the faith. Authentic reform, he says, has always been grounded in Islam's textual sources, spiritual objectives, and intellectual traditions. But the reformist movements that are based on renewed reading of textual sources while using traditional methodologies and categories have achieved only adaptive responses to the crisis facing a globalizing world. Such readings, Ramadan argues, have reached the limits of their usefulness.

Ramadan calls for a radical reform that goes beyond adaptation to envision bold and creative solutions to transform the present and the future of our societies. This new approach interrogates the historically established sources, categories, higher objectives, tools, and methodologies of Islamic law and jurisprudence, and the authority this traditional geography of knowledge has granted to textual scholars. He proposes a new geography which redefines the sources and the spiritual and ethical objectives of the law creating room for the authority of scholars of the social and hard sciences. This will equip this transformative reform with the spiritual, ethical, social and scientific knowledge necessary to address contemporary challenges. Ramadan argues that radical reform demands not only the equal contributions of scholars of both the text and the context, but the critical engagement and creative imagination of the Muslim masses. This proposal for radical reform dramatically shifts the center of gravity of authority. It is bound to provoke controversy and spark debate among Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

About Tariq Ramadan

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Through his writings and lectures Tariq Ramadan has contributed substantially to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active both at the academic and grassroots levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on social justice and dialogue between civilizations. He is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, visiting Professor at Erasmus University, and President of the European think tankEuropean Muslim Network.
Published November 17, 2008 by Oxford University Press. 384 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Ramadan, author and research fellow at Oxford University who in a cause célèbre has been repeatedly denied a visa to the U.S., presents a deft and timely call for radical change in the way Muslim scholars interpret and apply their central texts.

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Project MUSE

In Part three, Ramadan presents his alternative "geography of the sources of law," in which he argues that the "Universe, the social and human context, has never been considered as a self-standing source of law and of its production," but the conditions of contemporary times require "acknowledgin...

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