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New website online

Vacancy deadline extended

New OIS 

Religion und Offenbarung

Fiqh and natural law

Ines Weinrich

Newsletter 2, August 2013
Events and News

OIB launches its new website 
Our new website is online 
Apart from a fresh look and easy browsing, new features include online registration for using our library, and signing up for this newsletter. Have a look and spread the word.

Deadline for vacancy extended until 15 October
Position: Research Associate
The deadline for applying to the position of Research Associate at the OIB has been extended until 15 October 2013. For more information, read here.


OIS 2 (2013) - Inverted Worlds: Cultural Motion in the Arab Region
The second issue of Orient-Institut Studies (OIS) is out, edited by Syrinx von Hees, Nadia von Maltzahn and Ines Weinrich. The revolutionary momentum in the region has invigorated various forms of expressing protest, be it through songs, rap, new media, graffiti and street murals, or by using humour and non-linearity in visual and narrative forms. OIS 2 (2013) - Inverted Worlds: Cultural Motion in the Arab Region considers both regional and cross-cultural aspects of recent events, and relates back to dynamics at hand prior to the uprisings. The contributions in this volume are the results of a congress the OIB organised in Beirut in October 2012, a summary of which can be watched here.

About Orient-Institut Studies (OIS): OIS is an open-access e-publication combining regional and trans-regional perspectives in Middle Eastern and Euro-Asian Studies. Launched in 2012, this series is published jointly by the Orient-Institut Beirut and the Orient-Institut Istanbul.

"Dialogue of Theologies"
We have just published "Religion und Offenbarung" (Religion and Revelation), documenting the second meeting of the research group "Episteme der Theologie interreligiös" (Epistemes of theology in interreligious perspective) which took place at Al-Azhar University in Cairo in April 2012. Renowned theologians from Germany and Al-Azhar as well as the Dar al-Ulum participated in this workshop. The documentation highlights differences and similarities between intellectual approaches and theological cultures, rather than dogmatic distinctions. Just like the documentation of the first meeting, it is available online (here), and can be posted by mail upon request,

Research Spotlight

PhD Scholars: Feriel Bouhafa
Every year, we grant a number of scholarships to PhD students to spend a couple of months at the OIB, where they are integrated into the institute's intellectual community, take advantage of our library collection and/or conduct fieldwork. Feriel Bouhafa (Arabic and Islamic Studies Department, Georgetown University), one of our outgoing scholars, presents her work:

"Does fiqh know of a concept of natural law?" In positing this question I depart from a distinction made by Ibn Rushd (d.595/1198) in his Middle Commentary on Aristotle's Rhetoric between particular/written laws specific to each community and unwritten/universal laws common to all people. Asserting that Ibn Rushd relegates both laws under the scope of rhetoric, I examine his notion of universal law in first looking at the political role of rhetoric in his political philosophy. I then try to investigate whether this notion had any manifestation in his legal theory. During my time at the OIB, I was able to consolidate my findings by reexamining my sources. After having presented these findings at the institute's internal colloquium, I was able to finalise my outline. I also had the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops on working with manuscripts entitled "Philosophy in context: Arabic and Syriac Manuscript Transmission in the Mediterranean World (PhiC)" organised by my advisor Maroun Aouad at la Bibliothèque Orientale at the Université St Joseph (USJ).


Ines Weinrich
Outgoing Research Associate Ines Weinrich has left Beirut for Heidelberg University, where she will spend one year as Max Weber research fellow to write up her research on the dimension of sound in Islamic ritual. Based on fieldwork in Syria and Lebanon and combining methodological frameworks from Islamic studies, cultural anthropology and musicology, the project investigates the transformation from written form to oral performance, the function of sound, and the social relations and interactions between religious specialists and believers that are created or affirmed by performance. In Heidelberg Ines will be hosted by the department of Islamic studies and associated with the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 933 Material Text Cultures and the cluster of excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context.

If you have missed the first edition of our newsletter, you can find it here.

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