Notions of dignity and deficiency – Intertextual Approaches to the anthropology of the Qur’an in contemporary Muslim discourse

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An interdisciplinary symposium in cooperation with the Central Institute “Anthropology of Religion(s)”, on 17-18th September 2015 in Erlangen.

In the intellectual and spiritual tradition of Islam the notions of the dignity of man and his moral deficiency have always been some of the principal concepts with which Muslim scholars have sought to interpret the existence of man and his destiny. In recent years, the challenge of relating one’s own theological concept of man and his destiny to secular topics such as the inviolability of human dignity has generated a highly dynamic discourse around the question of how Islamic anthropology can contribute to the cultivation and perfection of the individual self as well as to social ‘humanisation’, especially as compared with the anthropologies of the two other monotheistic religions. Although the modern topos of ‘human dignity’ is not as much the result of a particular image of man but rather the result of a positive legislation, its ‘universality’ will regain practical political relevance only if it is supported by religious symbolizations, which specify the contentual implications of ‘human dignity’.