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Emeritus Prof. Virginia Hooker, Australian National University.

Virginia Hooker is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA), and currently a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific, at the Australian National University. She has been publishing on Islam in the Malayo-Indonesian world since 1970.

‘By the Pen!’ (Q 68:1) – Spreading Knowledge in Indonesia through Calligraphic Art. The paper describes the production, interpretation, and dissemination of Qur’anic knowledge through calligraphic art in Indonesia today. Since the early 1980s, Dr Didin Sirojuddin, an internationally recognised calligrapher, has devoted himself to teaching calligraphy as a way of spreading knowledge of the Qur’an. In his own works, Sirojuddin includes images that will stimulate associative memories and lead viewers to reflect on the metaphorical meanings of the Qur’anic verses he depicts.


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Emeritus Prof. Maher Abdelkader M. Ali, Alexandria University.

Maher Abdelkader M. Ali is Emeritus Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at Alexandria University, Egypt. He studied science before obtaining his BA in Philosophy 1968. In 1974 he obtained his MA in Mathematical Logic, and in 1978 his PhD.

Rationality of Arab Scientific Thinking in the Middle Ages. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate and explain the nature of Arab Science during its flourishing period (8th – 11th centuries), and to show (through the case of Al-Hazen) the role of reason in it.


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Prof. Amir Zekrgoo, International Islamic University Malaysia.

Amir Zekrgoo has been writing and lecturing on subjects related to art, symbolism and mysticism in Asian religious traditions (Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu) for over 25 years. He has authored 12 books and over a hundred articles. He is an artist and his work has been exhibited in over 50 exhibitions in Asia, America and Europe since 1977.

Science of the Self as Depicted in the Story of the Snake Catcher: Rumi’s Mathnawi in Context.  “The Story of the Snake Catcher” in the Mathnawi is about man’s challenge in confronting his own ego. It offers a compound religious subject in an easy-to-digest manner that can be easily visualized and set into a play. This paper proposes to analyze the story and its characters in the context of ‘Ilm al-Nafs or the science of the self.


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Prof. Hamza Zeghlache, University of Setif.

Hamza Zeghlache is the director of Laboratory of Mediterranean Architecture and a professor of History of Architecture  at the University of Setif, Algeria. His present interest is on textual representation of space within the Islamic cultural tradition. He has taught in the Department of Religious Studies at the Florida International University (Miami), and on the Understanding Contemporary Islam at the American University of Beirut under the Fulbright Program.

Textual Representation of Space in the Islamic Cultural Tradition. This paper deals with the cultural conception of the Islamic city and its traditional craft thorough study of classical religio-architectural treatises of Islam. The focus of this study is the sixteenth century Arabic written Islamic manuscript in the science of Ilm El Athar based on the enquiries of traces, entitled ‘Indication on landmarks of the God’s Sacred Territories’ of the writer Qotb el Din,a native of Mecca and  a member of the sixteenth century literati.



Prof. Randi Deguilhem, Aix-Marseille Université.

Randi Deguilhem is a historian of modern-contemporary Islam and 19th–21st century Syria. Her research includes Ottoman educational infrastructures and secularizing trends in late Ottoman Syria and the Mandate. She has published and co-edited 10 books and over 50 articles.

Between ijâza and Diploma: Nahda, Tanzimat and the Categorization of Knowledge in late Ottoman Damascene Schools. The categorization of knowledge and systemization of its teaching reflects a society’s assessment of its past and future, and shapes the transmission and nature of knowledge especially for youth and their career paths. This paper focuses on ‘nahda as an aggregate of knowledge and Tanzimat as a codification of it within Ottoman legislation, both of which are expressed within the curriculum of the late Ottoman Damascene lycée Maktab ‘Anbar.


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Prof. Tzvi Langermann, Bar Ilan University. 

Tzvi Langermann received his doctorate in History of Science from Harvard, working under A.I. Sabra and John Murdoch. Before accepting his appointment at Bar Ilan he catalogued scientific and philosophical texts at the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem. He is working on a translation and study of Ibn Kammūna’s Kalimāt wajīza.

‘Ilm and ‘Amal in Ibn Kammuna’s (d. 1284) Short Tract Written for the Future Governor of Isfahan. Ibn Kammūna’s (d. 1284) Kalimāt wajīza  is a short treatise written for the newly appointed ruler of Isfahan. Equally divided between ‘ilm and ‘amal, it urges a sort of pietist Abrahamic monotheism. This paper explores the problem of reconciling Ibn Kammūna’s doctrine of an indestructible and stable soul (a key point of his ‘ilm) with the quest of the individual—meaning his soul or self—for increasing perfection.


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A/Prof. Manu Sobti, The University of Queensland.

Manu P. Sobti is Associate Professor and PhD Program Chair in Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures (BLC) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research specialties cover the architectural and urban histories of Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. He has published widely and is the recipient of a number of prestigious research awards.

Histories of Space and Place: Viewing Ones Place Within the Landscape. Within meanings attributed to ‘ilm as the act of knowledge-creation, the ‘descriptions of the world’ were comprehended at multiple scales. This examination of ‘landscape knowledge’ employs four Islamic manuscripts to explore prevalent world-views pertaining to the geographical and topological variants of space and place, as specifically relevant to the mercurial histories of the Islamic epochs.



A/Prof. Mandana Barkeshli, International Islamic University Malaysia.

Mandana Barkeshli is a Conservation Scientist, Chairman of The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA), Faculty Member of the IIUM, Editorial Board Member of the International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, and Former Head Curator of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM).

Science behind the Materials and Techniques for the Production of Persian-Islamic Manuscripts. The study of Islamic manuscript is presented with special emphasis on the materials and techniques used in their production based on historical and science analysis. Historical analysis was carried out to collect recipes from Taimurid to Qajar historical treatises whereas materials and techniques were identified using scientific analysis on original samples.


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A/Prof. Mehmet Ozalp, Charles Sturt University.

Mehmet Ozalp the Founder and Executive Director of the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy. He is the Director for the Centre of Islamic Studies and Civilisation and a member of strategic research centre in Public and Contextual Theology (PaCT) at Charles Sturt University (CSU). Mehmet serves as the Muslim Chaplain at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

The Perennial Revelation-Reason Debate in Islam: a Review of Islamic Epistemology in the Age of Science. In Islam, the Qur’an and Sunnah formed the epistemological foundation of Islamic sciences. In the classical period, Muslim theologians debated whether a balance between revelation (naql) and reason (‘aql) could be established. Said Nursi (1876-1960) argues that a balanced should be struck between naql and the universe instead with ‘aql testing correlation between the two.


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A/Prof. Itzchak Weismann, Haifa University.

Itzchak Weismann is Associate Professor of Islamic studies and former Director of the Jewish-Arab Center at Haifa University. His research interests include Salafism, Islamic movements in the Middle East and South Asia, Sufism, modern Islamic thought and interfaith dialogue. His latest book is Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi: Islamic Reform and Arab Revival (2015).

Salafism and Science: Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi’s Re-Conceptualization of ‘ilm. Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi was among the early exponents of Islamic reformist thought and Arab Renaissance. Impressed by the cultural and political achievements of the West, he reconfigured the Islamic concept of ‘ilm by striking a new balance of reason and scientific innovation with revelation and the way of the ancestors.


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A/Prof. Salih Yucel, Charles Sturt University.

Salih Yucel is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University. He completed Master of Theology at the University of Sydney in 1996 and his Doctorate at Boston University in 2007. His doctoral research was about “the effects of prayer on Muslim medical patients’ well-being.

Rumi: The Marriage of Heart and Mind in the Service of Education Islamic history has witnessed numerous educators of both the heart and mind.  Rumi (1027-1273), as a great Sufi employed both rational argumentation and educational method pertaining to the heart and spirit. This paper will critically examine his educational formulas as reflected in his personal history with textual evidence drawn from his works.


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Dr. Katharine Bartsch, The University of Adelaide.

Katharine Bartsch is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Adelaide. Katharine trained as an architect and practised in Adelaide and India before commencing her academic career. She is currently part of a research team, funded by the Australian Research Council (2013–16), which is examining ‘The Architecture of Australia’s Muslim Pioneers’.

The House of Stars: Astronomy (‘ilm al-hay’a) and the Short-Lived Pursuit of Scientific Excellence in Nawabi Lucknow (1831-49). The paper examines the Tarawali Kothi (House of Stars) observatory in Lucknow, founded by Nasir-ud-din Haider (r.1827-37), in the context of changing attitudes to science. On the one hand, the paper identifies the Nawab’s pride in the rich Arab-Islamic legacy of astronomy which motivated the foundation of the institution (a neo-classical Greek ‘temple’ dedicated to science). On the other, the paper tracks uneasy attitudes towards astronomy which were increasingly shaped by perceptions of the dominance of ‘Western’ science in the context of British imperialism.



Dr. Peter Scriver, The University of Adelaide.

Peter Scriver is a founding member of the Centre for Asian and Middle-Eastern Architecture at the University of Adelaide, and Senior Lecturer in architectural history and theory. He is a leading international authority on the colonial and modern architectural histories of South Asia who has published a number of pioneering books in that field over the past quarter century. His most recent book is India: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion, 2015), written with Dr. Amit Srivastava.

For paper see The House of Stars: Astronomy (‘ilm al-hay’a) and the Short-Lived Pursuit of Scientific Excellence in Nawabi Lucknow (1831-49) with Dr. Kathrine Bartsch.


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Dr. Ahmad Sukkar, Former Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

Ahmad Sukkar has recently completed the Imam Bukhari Visiting Research Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. He holds a PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London and is currently preparing his doctoral thesis, which was supervised by Professor Samer Akkach, for publication as a monograph on architectural humanities.

‘Ilm as Architecture Science, Art, and the Sacred in Islam. The paper discusses the architectural ‘ilm (ultimate knowledge) as an Islamic science and art of the sacred. Analysing the concept of the “sacred science,” it attempts to answer whether a “sacred science of architectural thinking” can be defined in modern secular terms and compared with other Islamic and non-Islamic sciences and arts.


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Dr. Faris Hajamaideen, Singapore Polytechnic.

Faris Hajamaideen has been teaching History and Theory of Ideas at the Singapore Polytechnic since 2002. His research interests include the study of the human body as a site for architectural imaginings. Faris currently heads the School of Digital Media and Information Technology at the Singapore Polytechnic.

Suhrawardī and the Illuminated Temple of the Human Body. This paper seeks to study Suhrawardī’s (d. 1208) selective use of architectural imagery in explaining his Illuminationist philosophy. In this we find revealed how intimately the cosmos, the human body and architecture are linked.



Dr. Caitilin de Bérigny, The University of Sydney.

Caitilin de Bérigny is a Lecturer in the Design Lab at The University of Sydney. Her research on interaction design seeks to engage users in urban space. Caitilin is also leading the Health & Creativity Node at the Charles Perkins Centre, and has been awarded numerous grants, including an ARC Discovery 2016. She has exhibited and published widely.

Space and Spatial Thinking in Islam: the Case of the Medina of Tunis. In the global age of the 21st century, an age of technology and frenzied consumerism, originality seems to be very linked to “modern” interventions that are non-traditional leaving behind the fully charged Islamic traditions. This paper will attempt to suggest new ways of revisiting heritage based on reconceptualising Dar Lasrem. Al khayal, imagination, and al Ibda, creativity, will be the foundations linking the past and the future of Islamic dwellings.



Dr. Hakan Çoruh, Charles Sturt University. 

Hakan Çoruh is currently a lecturer at Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University. He completed his PhD titled Modern Qur’an Exegesis: A Comparative Approach to Methods of Said Nursi and Modernist Exegesisat ACU in 2015. He teaches and writes on Qur’anic studies, classical exegesis, and contemporary approaches to the Qur’an and Islam.

The Relationship between Religion and Science in Muslim Modernism. This paper aims to analyse modernist exegetes Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d. 1898) and Muhammad ʿAbduh’s (d. 1905) approaches to Islam and science, and ideas of Said Nursi (1877-1960) on the relationship between religion and science. This paper argues that while these scholars have a number of similarities, Nursi represents more traditional and balanced approach, and he can be situated at the middle way between classical and modern approaches.


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Dr. Leila Tajer, International Islamic University Malaysia.

Leila Tajer obtained her PhD and Post-Doctoral degree in Islamic Civilization and Sufi literature from the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) and International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) respectively. Her Master’s degree from the Azad University, Tehran, was in Comparative Religion. She is a researcher and book reviewer in the area of Sufi literature.

For paper see Science of the Self as Depicted in the Story of the Snake-Catcher: Rumi’s Mathnawi in Context with Prof. Amir Zekrgoo.


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Dr. Syed M. Bukhari, University of Karachi.

Syed M. Bukhari is a lecturer in Philosophy in University of Karachi, Pakistan. His research interests include Critical Theory, Postcolonialism, and South Asian Islam. His most recently published paper is “Social Sciences in South Asian Islam: Some Lessons for the Muslim World.”

Rethinking Islam and Science: Harmonies and Conflicts. This study hypothesizes that the attempts of Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Ziauddin Sardar to Islamize science has been commodified by Hardt and Negri’s ‘Empire’. Their sciences have been unable, I shall argue, to transcend Eurocentrism and imperialism of which they are themselves critical. These projects appear to be reactionary against the West.


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Dr. Susan Scollay, Independent Art Historian and Curator.

Susan Scollay specialises in the study of the Islamic world, with a focus on the art and architecture of the Ottoman Empire. She is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a contributing editor to the London-based journal, HALI: textiles, carpets and Islamic art.

‘Ilm and the ‘Architecture of Happiness’: the Ottoman Imperial Palace at Edirne/Adrianople, 1451–1877. The fifteenth-century imperial palace at Edirne/Adrianople in Thrace had no precedent in the Ottoman realm. Illustrated manuscripts collected by the sultans point to the key role played by knowledge of literature and cultural models from elsewhere in the Islamic world in the emerging aesthetics (ʿilm al-djamal) of the House of Osman.


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Dr. Selen Morkoç, The University of Adelaide (affiliate). 

Selen Morkoç has taught art and architecture in Turkey and Australia. She is the author of the Ottoman Narratives on Architecture: Text, Context and Hermeneutics (2010, Academica Press). Her recent co-authored book on contemporary architecture was published by Thames & Hudson (London) in 2014.

Constructing Architectural Metaphors on Slippery Ground: an Interpretation of Social Space in 17th-century Ottoman Istanbul. This paper is a comparative interpretation of social space as represented in two texts from 17th century Ottoman world; Katip Celebi’s Mizânü’l-Hakk and Cafer Efendi’s Risale-î Mi‘mâriyye. A reading of both texts suggest that the concept of ‘Ilm as the attainment of the knowledge of the Creator (marifetullah), empowers hierarchy both in social space and the sciences in their historical context.


Dr. Chloe Gill-Khan, Visiting Scholar, Aga Khan Centre.

Chloe Gill-Khan is a Visiting Scholar at the Aga Khan Centre. Previously, she was Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia. Her research interests include European colonial and postcolonial histories and comparative philosophical traditions. She is currently writing a monograph on British and French politics, cultures and literatures of the ex-colonial Muslim diasporas.

‘Ilm and the Colonial Enterprise. This paper examines the concept of ‘ilm in postcolonial Muslim cultures that have been shaped by European global formations. By its very nature, ‘ilm is a call to engage with the unknown in all its facets, and in the human realms, with the other – opening the question of ethics. How do peoples marked by colonial legacies navigate the political and ethical; what does postcolonial ‘ilm look like? Through focussing on literatures of the Muslim diaspora in Europe, the paper examines the question of seeking knowledge in a world contoured around the politics of exclusion.