Thursday, August 31
by Ebrahim Moosa
6:45 pm Pre-presentation Reception with Speaker – 7:30 pm Presentation Begins
Lake Michigan College, South Haven Campus
125 Veterans Blvd.
South Haven, Michigan
Ebrahim Moosa, considered one of the world’s most influential Muslims, will be the next featured speaker in the 2017 Speaker Series of South Haven. The event will be held on Thursday, August 31 at Lake Michigan College at 7:30 pm. A pre-presentation reception will be he held 6:45.
Moosa, a professor of Islamic Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, will speak on Reform in the Contemporary Islamic World. Approaching Islam as a faith for all eras, he will explore the need for a progressive Islam interpreted in the context of contemporary human dignity, identity and ethics.
“His appearance is certainly timely,” says Frank Cunningham, chair for the event. “And very much in keeping with our mission to bring dynamic and knowledgeable speakers to address issues, innovations and ideas shaping our lives. It promises to be a very informative evening about one of the world’s great faiths and the adaptations of its truths to today’s world. It can be a pier in a bridge of understanding”
Acknowledged as “one of the most prominent intellectual theoreticians behind progressive Muslim thought” Moosa defines himself as “a traditionalist with a critical bend.”
“The key thing about progressive or critical traditionalist approach in Islam, to me, is that we must see that all knowledge must substantiate and support the fulfillment of human dignity. Human dignity is at the core of all Islam’s messages. And if knowledge does not deliver on human dignity, then that knowledge really is questionable.”
Moosa will explore the question of heritage in the Arab-Islamic world and how heritage affects identity. It involves issues of politics, the interpretation of Islamic law, and the need to shift to a public theology centering on ethics and human dignity. Moosa maintains, however, that events such as the emergence of military and despotic regimes after the Arab Spring and foreign destabilization of the region has prevented these debates from flowering into social policies.
Often called to the world stage, he recently commented extensively on Ramadan and the practice of fasting for the Australian Broadcasting Company. “Fasting is an act which is breathtakingly simple in expression, but immensely demanding in execution. Yes, there might be some disciplinary and health benefits, but for 29 or 30 days back to back? That takes some doing…” says Moosa.
A native of South Africa, Moosa taught at the University of Cape Town, and Duke and Stanford Universities before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2014.
The presentation on Mid East issues from Dr. Ebrahim Moosa was well attended. Here’s a video and some photos from the event.