European Journal of Political Theory 15 (4):424-444 (2016)

Debates about preserving, modifying and applying sharia through principles of taqlid or ijtihad are immensely useful in thinking through a sharper definition of tradition for political theorists and historians of political thought more generally. Political theorists and historians of political thought have tended to use tradition in a range of ways without specifying key elements of the concept. Building on debates in Islamic thought related to taqlid and its relationship to ijtihad, and through a focus on the ideas of a contemporary thinker, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, this paper proposes that tradition in political thought can be defined as a framework for knowledge production and consumption constituted of two key elements: method and sensibility. Further, the paper suggests that this definition allows us a better understanding of vibrancy in a tradition: vehement debate, contradictions and internal contestation are not signs of decay but of vitality within a tradition. It is the severe delinking of the two elements of a tradition, method and sensibility, which has greater potential to reduce its vibrancy.
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DOI 10.1177/1474885116666795
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition.Joel J. Kupperman - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (3):737-740.
The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam.Talal Asad - 1996 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 48:381-406.

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Kwasi Wiredu’s Consensual Democracy: Prospects for Practice in Africa.Martin Odei Ajei - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 15 (4):445-466.

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