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Practical Wisdom and Islam: Reimagining Islamic Law, from the Local to the Global

  • Tom Woerner-PowellEmail author
  • Ricca Edmondson
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter aims to mitigate the ‘otherness’ often attributed to Islamic law, which is sometimes claimed to be incommensurable with principles in other traditions. It draws on local and global contexts: legal anthropologies in the Middle East and North Africa, and writing on the emerging field of Islamic environmental jurisprudence. Applying the Aristotelian concept of phronesis, practical wisdom, as an interpretive tool in cases such as issuing fatwas, it shows how they appear less alien when we trace the operations of practitioners’ ethical interventions, helping individuals move on from their predicaments in constructive directions. This aims at widening avenues for scholarly analysis of Islamic legal practices, and at using methods of intercultural understanding to assuage a source of avoidable tension between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

Keywords

Environmental jurisprudence Fatwa Fiqh Intercultural hermeneutics Islamic law Islamophobia Legal anthropology Phronesis Practical reason Sharia, interpretations of 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Ricca Edmondson is grateful for support in interdisciplinary research at the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, in Spring 2017.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of Political Science and SociologyNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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