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Fazlur Rahman and the Search for Authentic Islamic Education: A Critical Appreciation

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ABSTRACT

The article provides a critical appreciation of the educational thought of Fazlur Rahman, a major figure in the 20th-century Muslim modernist trend. By situating his life and work in the history of Muslim reform, the article brings into relief distinctive elements of his intellectual project. Connections between Fazlur Rahman's philosophy of education and his proposal for the Qur'an's reinterpretation are outlined and assessed. In this context, his ideas about the location of meaning, role of tradition, and causes of Muslim decline which underpin his “double movement” theory are investigated. The article notes the wide-ranging impact of Fazlur Rahman's interpretive approach on educational and reformist thought in many Muslim contexts. Finally, Fazlur Rahman's theory and its underlying assumptions are assessed, bringing out in particular the tension between his scholarly and reformist aims.

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