A two-day madrasa discourse workshop was held on the 2nd and 3rd of January 2020 at BRAC Center, Mohakhali, Dhaka. This two-day workshop was led by Dr. Ebrahim Moosa, Dr. Joshua Lupo, and Dr. Rana Dajani. Dr. Samia Huq, research fellow, Centre for Peace and Justice, moderated the workshop. The workshop introduced young and recently graduated madrasa scholars in Bangladesh to the project in summary form. The format was seminar sessions with appropriate readings in the philosophy of science, history, the study of religion, and Islamic thought. The workshop began with Dr. Josh Lupo. Participants got an opportunity to engage with the Western study of religion through lectures and discussions covering the major theoretical developments at the intersection of science and the philosophy of religion. Dr. Rana Dajani joined on video conference to discuss the challenges that the new cosmic story- including the big bang and evolution—poses. Dr. Ebrahim Moosa concluded the workshop with his reflections on hermeneutics and history in the Islamic tradition. The pivotal themes here was the relationship between history and contingency with special attention to how these fields impact the interpretation of Islam as a religious tradition. Dr. Moosa also discussed the impact on “morals and ethics” (fiqh/shari’a), dialectical theology, and the interpretation of texts. Participants were exposed to the work of al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd (Averroës), and contemporary debates in hermeneutics.
The goal of the workshop was to provide inspiration for intellectual curiosity and generate interest amongst the participations for further study. The workshop ended with presenting the participants with a certificate. CPJ’s Executive Director Manzoor Hasan OBE delivered the closing remarks.