SOAS University of London

Centre of Islamic Studies

Qur’anic Values and Modernity in Contemporary Islamic Ethics: Taha Abderrahmane and Fazlur Rahman in Conversation

Ramon Harvey (Ebrahim College)

Date: 27 November 2019Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 27 November 2019Time: 2:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: S312

Type of Event: Seminar


As a scripture revealed in a historical moment, the Qur’an calls to matters of eternal significance. Muslims seeking to apply its ethical message in the contemporary world need to be aware of both the imaginal leap to its age and the perpetual presence of its moral values. In this paper, I will explore the idea of reading Qur’anic values within modernity through the work of two significant figures: Taha Abderrahmane and Fazlur Rahman. While both seek to elucidate extrahistorical values from the Qur’an in order to ensure revelation remains meaningful today, comparing the ways in which they theoretically frame their projects shines a light on the particularities of each, and engenders a more coherent conversation between Islamic ethics in Arabic and English. I also locate the discussion with respect to recent forays into Islamic ethical thought which respond to and develop their ideas.


Ramon Harvey (Aziz Foundation Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Ebrahim College) works in the fields of Qur’anic studies, theology, and ethics, both as an intellectual historian and theologian. His first book, The Qur’an and the Just Society (2018), was released by Edinburgh University Press and he is working on a new book with the same publisher on constructive Muslim theology, drawing from the Māturīdī tradition and contemporary philosophy. He earned his doctorate from SOAS, University of London. 

The following seminar, to be held on Weds 4th December, will be Relations between Christian and Muslim Communities of Syria (based on 2018 visit), presented by Dr. Erica Hunter, Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity (SOAS).

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