A multimedia, multi-faith publication about the ideas that shape the modern world from the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, Zaytuna College.
Why Beauty Is Not Optional with Oludamini Oggunaike and Ubaydullah Evans
What better topic for discussion than beauty, muses Oludamini Ogunnaike, a regular contributor to Renovatio and a scholar of Islam in north and west Africa. Beauty is inseparable from truth, goodness, and justice, yet reference to it is missing from many of our most important discussions on those matters. The neglect of beauty has been detrimental to communities everywhere, notes Ogunnaike; it’s often seen as superfluous, compartmentalized from other values, or reserved for the elite when, in fact, beauty remains an existential need for every human being. Ubaydullah Evans engages with Ogunnaike on the quiddity of beauty, beauty as it relates to a fuller understanding of God, and the correlation between beauty and spiritual maturity.
Oludamini Ogunnaike is assistant professor of African religious thought at the University of Virginia.
Ubaydullah Evans is the scholar-in-residence of the American Learning Institute for Muslims (ALIM) and an instructor with the Ta’leef Collective.
Graceful Giving and Grateful Receiving
Asad Tarsin, author of Being Muslim: A Practical Guide, speaks with Joshua Lee Harris, a specialist on the work of Thomas Aquinas, on his article for Renovatio, “The Human Arts of Graceful Giving and Grateful Receiving.” Tarsin and Harris exchange ideas about humility as a prerequisite for true gratefulness, Imam al-Ghazālī’s three components of gratitude, and what evolution can’t explain about gratitude.
Power to the People?
In this episode, scholars Caner Dagli and Andrew March discuss theories of democracy and their relationship to modern Islamic thought, how modern Muslims grapple with democracy’s promise as well as its baggage, and whether metaphysics can (or should) be untangled from politics.
Cultivating the Life Skill of Writing
The mere act of writing for one’s self tends to reveal the fact that each one of us contains multitudes. When we write in our diaries or journals, we employ rhetorical devices even though our audience is within us. Scott Crider and Sarah Barnette discuss how conversing with one’s self through writing treats the self like the other in a useful way, giving us liberal room to persuade or represent ourselves.
Are Believers a Political Tribe? (Asma T. Uddin and Caner K. Dagli)
In this episode, philosopher Caner K. Dagli speaks with attorney Asma T. Uddin on the path she sees for Muslims to effect real change for themselves without succumbing to tribalism and explores her views on the increasingly antiquated and often constricting allegiances of left and right.
Equality in the Ancient World with Juan Cole and Ubaydullah Evans
In this episode, Ubaydullah Evans interviews the historian Juan Cole on his forthcoming article for Renovatio that addresses the issue of equality by examining the text and context of the Qur’an.