Area of Research
#CILE2015 Jonathan Brown: What Makes a Fatwa Compelling ? Evidence and Authority in an Age of Political Controversy

#CILE2015: The Participants


>> CILE 3rd Annal International Conference, Brussels, march 2015 <<



Dr. Brown received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. He has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Iran. His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim : The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith : Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009), Muhammad : A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Misquoting Muhammad : The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (Oneworld, 2014), which was named one of the top books on religion for 2014 by the Independent.

He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Salafism, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include modern conflicts Islamic legal reform and a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari. Dr. Brown is currently the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Associate Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding.


Speech Title (Islamic Discourse panel)

What Makes a Fatwa Compelling ? Evidence and Authority in an Age of Political Controversy




This paper addresses the question of how religio-scholarly authority is currently conceptualized and understood amongst Muslims in the West, with a particular focus on muftis and the elements of fatwas that make them compelling for audiences. The paper will also address the role of the state and state endorsement of muftis.



(Original English Voice, starting 21 min)

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