A General Look at the Islamic and Islamic Philosophy Studies in the USA

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Kaplan Y.

CUMHURIYET ILAHIYAT DERGISI-CUMHURIYET THEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.23, pp.563-579, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier


Islamic studies in the United States of America is a dense, productive, and globally acclaimed field because of the numerous academic opportunities and international publications in many languages, especially English. However, as in the general of Western universities, the Islamic philosophy/history studies at the universities of the U.S. is rather rare. In this article, firstly, the general state of Islamic Studies from the past to the present in the USA will be analyzed with a descriptive method and the rare position of Islamic Philosophy within the Islamic Studies will be examined. Secondly, the prominent names of the Islamic Philosophy in the Post-Orientalist process and their works will be evaluated. In conclusion, because of the general structure of the U.S. university system, it is revealed that the studies of Islamic Philosophy in the USA are quantitatively less than that in the European and Islamic geographies. This situation can be explicated by two ways. The first is the Islamic Philosophy's weak relation to the knowledge-power target which is the basic principle of the American state philosophy and to the political interests of the U.S. This circumstance forms the background of the Post-Orientalist tendency. The second is the growing interest in the phenomenological method and the dominant positions of cosmopolitanism and interdisciplinary approaches in the American higher education system.