Islamic Thought and
Social Inquiry

Within the project duration, we will carry out a number of activities such as the publication of an academic article, design of a postgraduate syllabus, formation of a network of scholars, video production, and arrange a series of events in the form of closed roundtables, workshops, and public lectures.

The network that takes shape will also inform the participation for the workshops. It would also lay the foundations for possible future collaborations such as conferences, master classes, a peer-reviewed journal, and a Muslim Social Science Award.

  • An academic paper on the topic of the multiplex research paradigm by the project leader. This will lay the conceptual ground for the project, elaborate methodological concerns, and address possible problems. Preliminary Title: Why Multiplexity? Bridging the Gap between Secular and Religious Reasoning.
  • Syllabus design for a graduate course in comparative sociological theory and method. At the undergraduate level, Comparative Theories and Methods I & II have been introduced at Ibn Haldun as mandatory core courses given in consecutive semesters. However, a graduate course needs to be developed with a view to integrating the knowledge gained from exploring theoretical foundations in this project as well as our experience teaching undergraduates. In this way, we hope to train a whole cohort of MA and PhD students to see value in the lines of inquiry multiplexity explores.
  • A literature review will form an important part of this activity. Here we aim to cover the important debates and the fundamental questions pertinent to the project. We will also carry out an investigation into the relevant primary sources and prepare an annotated bibliography. It will help in the creation of the syllabus, and all the activities to be performed in the future application.
  • A website for the network. For the purposes of the network, we will identify relevant academicians and ulama and create a database classifying research clusters.
  • Meetings of the academic board of the network. The academic board will be constituted of experts in Sociology, Philosophy and scholars from the traditional Islamic sciences. Its role will be to guide the development of the network, and set policy and a roadmap for further work. It will meet once every six months in person and through web-conferencing.
  • Two closed roundtables: In these meetings, the participants will discuss problems in the social sciences and possible solutions such as the theory of multiplexity. At the end, we will publish a report including an anonymous transcript and display arguments through a visual mapping tool.
  • A joint workshop inviting scholars from different institutions, including those that provide traditional Islamic education in Istanbul and abroad. Medrese voices have been largely ignored in mainstream academic discourse in many Muslim countries, and this is no less the case than in post-Ottoman Turkey. With the purpose of rediscovering traditional voices that have been excluded from the discourse and bring them to the fore, this workshop would be titled ‘The Multiplex Self, Motives and Behavior: Competing Explanations of Prosocial Behavior.’ In this workshop we will invite scholars from diverse disciplines, both traditional and modern, to comparatively analyze competing approaches on prosocial behavior and demonstrate their advantages and drawbacks, which will help us improve our understanding of multiplexity.
  • A 3-day International Research workshop, “Revisiting the Self in Action: Assessing Multiplexity through its Application in the Study of Prosocial Behavior.” This workshop will bring together scholars of falsafa, kalām, philosophy, tasawwuf, fiqh, and the social sciences to apply and assess multiplexity in their research. This workshop will help us better discern the problems of applying multiplexity, and ascertain its strengths and weaknesses. They will also allow us to refine our theory by applying its basic premises to problems of prosocial behavior, which happens to be a current concern in the world today.
  • Publication of an edited volume including selected papers from the two workshops. It will be tentatively titled ‘Multiplexity: Questioning dichotomies in Social Sciences’.
  • Four videos introducing marātib-multiplex ontology, epistemology, and methodology for social sciences.
  • Three public lectures.

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