The Analytic Method Working Group met for the second time on 9–10 January 2015 in Oxford. Building on their work from the previous year, professors from around the world convened at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) to present diverse papers ranging from philosophical methodology and systems of scientific investigation to falsafa’s place in classical theological discourse and a critique of modern social theory. Among the topics explored were the compatibility of theology with a viable philosophy of science, a social-theological critique of nihilism, and a conceptualization of judgement as conceived through juridical demonstration and the shift from apologetic to dialogic method.
Citing classical Islamic figures such al-Juwayni, al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, and Ibn Arabi as well as more modern thinkers like Kant, Hegel, Max Weber, Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, and others, the working group engaged with difficult and pressing epistemological and ontological questions central to the Islamic Analytic Theology initiative spearheaded by Kalam Research and Media with generous support from the John Templeton Foundation.
The participants included the working group coordinator, M. Sait Ozervarli (Yildiz Technical University, Turkey), as well as Afifi al-Akiti (Oxford University, UK), Ahmed Abdel Meguid (Syracuse University, USA), Edward Moad (Qatar University) and Farid Alatas (National University of Singapore), while KRM was represented by Yusuf Lenfest. Group members also had the opportunity to meet the Director of OCIS, Dr Farhan Nizami CBE, and to learn about the founding of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies as well as the history of the collegiate system at Oxford in general and of Worcester College more specifically. All contributors manifested a nuanced approach in marrying the rich history of Islamic discourse with a rigorous engagement in contemporary academic scholarship in analytic philosophy and theology.