Theology – Humanities – Social Sciences (Stefan Leder)

Lectures & Debates organized by the Orient-Institut Beirut in cooperation with the Mashyakhat al-Azhar (Office of the Grand Imam)

Responsible at the OIB:

Prof. Dr Stefan Leder 

Dr. Ahmed Abd-Elsalam, Researcher at the Centre of Islamic Theology, University of Münster, Germany



The Orient-Institut, in cooperation with the Mashyakhat al-Azar, here engages in dialogue by inviting theologies to exchange on their methodologies and the very principles of their thinking. We have done so previously with our meetings under the title “Epistemological Dimension of Religions”. The second German edition of the book documenting these meetings is available since 2016 ( and the Arabic edition of that book is ready for print.

From this starting point, we want to proceed towards an even more ambitious aspiration.  We therefore consider the present efforts of reviving and further developing the systematic aspects of Islamic Theology away from the one-sided attention to the normative aspect of sharia, which has somehow dominated Islamic Thought during especially the second half of 20th century. We want to encourage the discursive approaches of theology towards value. Discursive approach of course means to develop inclusive positions, which take account of the other, and of conflicting points of view. 

Despite the fundamental differences between Islamic and Christian creeds, the exchange between both theologies about basic issues and problems of religion in the modern world will certainly be beneficial, and it is essential for the need to develop a shared theoretical language. Theologies, just like other disciplines do, or should, engage with reflecting their positions, intellectual experiences and justifications. Theologies, just like other sciences, reflect the realities of the modern world, and their self-reflexive modus of thinking connects them among each other and with other disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In this vein, our meeting is truly dialogic in character.