Recommended PhD research project on “Progressive Voices in Islamic Theology in the (Post-)Secular Society of 21st Century” – under the Jointly Awarded Research Degree (JADD): A jointly awarded PhD degree by the University of Newcastle (UON) and University Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The main purpose of this recommended research project is to promote the academic conception of progressive voices in Islamic theology (preferably with a focus on Islamic liberation theology approaches) formed in response to the main challenges of living in (post-)secular, (post-)colonialist societies.
The program involves the development and implementation of an evidence-based (as opposed to faith-based) research project (in Humanities or Social Sciences) on a topic relevant to the above theme. Corporate/mass media and mainstream discourses about Islam in the West focus heavily on regressive, violent movements, misleadingly portraying them as the dominant faces of Islamic cultures. The majority of Muslims regard such movements as in fact misappropriating Islamic values and theological ideas for the exclusionist political agendas and economic interests of their perpetrators.
In the context of escalating terrorist actions in the name of faith, the existing lack of public knowledge about the diversity of views in the Islamic world contributes further to misconceptions and thereby to ethnocultural tensions. Despite the fact that these tensions have been increasingly globalized over the last couple of decades, sufficient efforts are still not being made to systematically explore and empower progressive/reformist movements that correspond with the values and morals of the majority of Muslims across the world, as well as with the spirit of Islam’s most sacred source material.
Islamic theology is undergoing significant revision in this context, particularly in response to a number of global challenges such as radicalization, gender inequality, capitalist financial crises, human rights issues, advancements in technological and medical sciences with complex ethical implications (such as cloning, stem-cell research/therapy, etc.), youth identity dilemmas, mass immigration and refugee crises. The central purpose of the scholarship on offer is, therefore, to engage in research that employs updated critical methodology in reappraising Islam’s theological and social progressive contribution, with reference to one or other of these challenges.
For more information about this JADD scholarship program and to submit your Expression of Interest, please see: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/research-and-innovation/graduate-research/future-students/higher-degrees-by-research/partnerships-and-joint-or-dual-award-opportunities/universiti-putra-malaysia