Gudrun Krämer (FU Berlin): Islam and the challenge of innovation
Islam has known a long tradition of socio-religious reform, renewal, and revival, one that goes well beyond Muslim encounters with Europe in the early modern era but was profoundly altered in the modern age, modifying Muslim understandings of religion, culture, and society. In spite of deep-going socio-cultural and political change, or perhaps precisely because of it, the conditions of legitimate innovation remain contested among Islamic scholars, thinkers, and activists. The talk will address core elements of these debates, such as the distinction between techniques and values, the role of reason, and the notion of utility, as well as the socio-political conditions under which they take place, with special emphasis on the Arab Middle East.
Prof. Dr. Gudrun Krämer, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Islamic Studies
Gudrun Krämer is professor of Islamic Studies and Chair of the Department of Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, Director of the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, and member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Her main research interests concern religion, law, politics and society in modern Islam. She is co-editor of the third edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam (Brill). Among her publications: Hasan al-Banna, Oxford, New York: Oneworld 2010; Demokratie im Islam, Munich: Beck Verlag 2011; A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2014.