Islam’s Diverse History of Ideas

With Mustafa Akyol

Join us for a virtual discussion with Mustafa Akyol, who takes us on a fascinating journey into Islam’s diverse history of ideas, and argues that the next “Islamic Enlightenment” may be on the horizon.

Akyol diagnoses “the crisis of Islam” in the modern world and offers a way forward. Diving deeply into Islamic theology, and also sharing lessons from his own life story, he says Muslims lost the universalism that made them a great civilization in their earlier centuries. He demonstrates how values often associated with the Western Enlightenment―freedom, reason, tolerance and an appreciation of science―had Islamic ancestors that were cast aside, for political reasons, in favor of more dogmatic views. Akyol borrows lost visions from medieval Muslim thinkers, such as Ibn Rushd (aka Averroes), to show how they shared a strikingly modern worldview on a range of sensitive issues: human rights, equality for women, freedom of religion, or freedom from religion.

While frankly acknowledging the problems in the world of Islam today, Akyol offers a clear and hopeful vision for its future.