Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities will organize its second international conference titled Islamic Studies in Universities: Towards Promoting the Values of Citizenship and Coexistence at Rosewood Abu Dhabi from 22-24 November.

With renowned academics and scholars from around the world in attendance, the leading event will discuss the emerging importance of Islamic studies in international higher education, focusing on six thematic pillars, including: Islamic Studies Vision and Content, Islamic Studies and Research & Teaching Methods, Enhancing Islamic Studies in Arab Universities, Islamic Studies and Knowledge Integration, as well as Islamic Studies and Promoting Coexistence, Citizenship, Religious Discourse and Society.

Dr Khaled Al Dhaheri, MBZUH chancellor says that the conference is being organized as part of Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities’ mission to be a catalyst for cultural discourse and enlightenment as well as to contribute to development of knowledge and research in the field of Islamic studies. “Today, there is a great need for Muslim societies to invest in developing insights that will be beneficial to human society and will contribute to the progress of nations, by putting a spotlight on the inter-relationships between language, humanity and religions in a way that will lead to progress, renewal and modernization,” he added.

Dr. Al Dhaheri stressed that “this knowledge integration should be taken into account in determining educational outcomes when formulating religious education programs, in order to build conscious and well-rounded religious leaders, who can help us better understand the needs and future aspirations of this generation, as well as produce a new religious discourse that contributes in meeting those needs and responding to those aspirations, through the development of appropriate programs and projects.”

The first thematic pillar of the conference seeks to describe the current landscape of Islamic studies programs, which vary across different higher education institutions and will focus on topics such as Islamic Studies in Public Universities, Islamic Studies and Islamic Knowledge Frameworks, as well as Islamic Studies and the Modernization of Religious Lessons.

The conference will also review the curricula currently offered at the higher education level, with a focus on teaching and research, which will form the core of the second thematic pillar of the event. Among the topics to be discussed across two sessions include: Research Methods in Quranic Studies, Research Methods in Sharia and Islamic Studies, Research Methods in Islamic studies in Western Universities, Approaches to Rooting and Renewal, Modernizing Teaching Methodologies, as well as Criticism and Deconstruction.

Meanwhile, the third thematic pillar aims to generate theoretical frameworks as well as propose practical recommendations for a structural renewal of the most important concepts that form the core of Islamic studies, which will deep dive into Text and Authorship, Belief and Interpretation, Jurisprudence and Fundamentals, and a new vision for Islamic culture.

Experts attending the conference will then review the link between Sharia and various branches of knowledge, as part of the fourth thematic pillar, to highlight the potential impact of this connection in developing Islamic studies, through the following topics: Islamic Studies and Natural Sciences, Islamic Studies and Social Sciences, Islamic Studies and Linguistic & Literature, Islamic Studies and Philosophy as well as Islamic Studies and Artificial Intelligence.

Discussions on the fifth thematic pillar will explore how Islamic studies can contribute to enriching the public debate on issues of religious pluralism and the concepts of the national and universal values, by highlighting a number of topics that deal with study and analysis of the objective and methodological problems that these issues and concepts raise in the context of traditional visions, in an effort to formulate an interpretive theory that will help overcome relevant problematic issues. These will be covered in two sessions that include Islamic Studies and Citizenship as well as Islamic Studies and Coexistence.

Finally, the sixth thematic pillar of the conference will discuss three main topics, including Religious Discourse in the Media, The Friday Sermon and Prospects for Development, as well as the Development of Public Religious Discourse.