Statement of Intention
1. Kalam Transdisciplinary Research Initiative is a cross-cutting research initiative for analytical, systematic and methodological studies of the Religion of Islam in the context of contemporary knowledge, challenges and needs.
2. It is based on the well-established and long-cherished analytical tradition of the foundations of Religion in Islam namely the tradition of Kalam – the Islamic Analytical Theology.
3. Throughout the historical development of Islamic thought and civilization until the early 20th Century, the tradition of Kalam of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaah especially the Ash’ariyyah and Maturidiyyah had been the most prominent and widely-accepted analytical articulation of the Religion of Islam profoundly influenced the vast majority of Muslims around the world.
4. Despite the domination of discourse on ‘reforms in Islam’ in its various theoretical dimensions and practical manifestations throughout the 20th Century, there has been a glaring omission and a serious neglect about the role and position of Kalam and its research tradition either as the analytical platform, tools and resources or as the systematic framework, methodology and research paradigm during the whole venture of ‘reforms in Islam’.
5. Varieties of analytic failures and systemic crises that epitomized much of the states of the Muslims both religious and non-religious affairs today could be partly attributed to the lack of analytical and systematic knowledge, skills and competencies embodied in Kalam and its research tradition.
6. With the impasse of the 20th Century Islam, the 21st Century could provide new opportunities for the Muslims particulars scholars in Kalam to harness the potentials of their very own religion analytical and systematic tradition notwithstanding these scholars’ requirements to master the contemporary analytic and systemic tools and methods largely resulted from the Western intellectual and knowledge endeavors.
7. It is hope that this renewed interest in the tradition of Kalam would set off much desired ingenuity and genuine journey for re-articulation of the religion of Islam in the context of contemporary knowledge, challenges and needs while at the same time being consistent with and appreciative of the richness and resourcefulness of the Islamic intellectual and spiritual traditions that represented the heritage of the Islamic thought and civilization.