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Same-sex Intercourse and the Formation of Muslim Discourse
Monday, December 17, 2018

Current discourses within Muslim communities over same-sex intercourse suggest that Islamic law, because Divine, is fixed and immutable. They do not, however, take into account the process of human, and therefore fallible, interpretive reasoning that went into the historical development of legal doctrines. Indeed, Islamic law did not exist in a vacuum but was rather part of an evolving, vibrant discursive tradition. This talk surveys some of the discourses surrounding same-sex intercourse across an array of historical genres. It follows texts, their writers, ideas, and discourses across time, space, disciplines, and occasionally across religious traditions. It seeks to illustrate the ways in which early Muslims’ constructions and suggested punishments for same-sex intercourse were not simply based on self-evident scriptural passages but involved a number of extrapolations and interpretations by early exegetes and jurists. It makes a more general theoretical assertion about the relation between scriptural texts and authoritative religious interpretations, and the ways in which the latter inevitably go beyond the former in a number of historically specific ways. 

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
Sponsor: Dean of the College; Religion Program
Contact: Richard Davis.
Phone: 845-758-7364

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