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Walter Edward Young

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Dr. Walter Edward Young is a post-doctoral researcher currently working with Prof. Robert Wisnovsky (PI) on the John Templeton Foundation project “Muḥammad ʿAbduh’s Supercommentary on al-Dawānī’s Commentary on al-Ījī’s Creed: A New Source for the Renewal of Islamic Analytical Theology.” With both an MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies, he has held numerous post-doctoral research positions in the broader domain of Islamicate Intellectual History. His research interests permeate several domains of Islamic thought, with particular concentrations in premodern law, legal theory, logic, and dialectic.

Dr. Young’s MA thesis theorized pre-Islamic origins for various ḥadd-penalties (esp. those for theft and adultery), while his doctoral dissertation uncovered proto-systems of juristic dialectic, contributing a theoretical model for dialectic’s formative dynamic with respect to legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh). He has since held research appointments at Harvard Law School (on juridical dialectic), the University of Oxford (on the ādāb al-baḥth, or “protocol for dialectical inquiry”), Ruhr-Universität Bochum (on post-Avicennan dialectical empiricism), the Universität Bonn (on the ādāb al-baḥth), and McGill University (Islamic philosophical and scientific manuscripts). His first monograph, The Dialectical Forge (link: https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Dialectical_Forge.html?id=OWm3DQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false), was published by Springer in early 2017. Ongoing research falls in the domains of early manuscripts on the ādāb al-baḥth and juristic dialectic (jadal), post-classical scholastic prosopography, Islamic legal and dialectical theory, and cross-discipline argument analysis. Among other projects he envisages for the future is a broadening of the currently self-administered Society for the Study of Islamicate Dialectical Disputation (SSIDD) (link: https://ssidd.org/) into a greater association for the study, teaching, and practice of dialectic.

CV

[Complete version for download PDF]

 

Education

  • (2012) Ph.D., Islamic Studies, McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies
  • (2006) M.A., Islamic Studies, McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies (Dean’s List)
  • (1994) B.A., Studio and Visual Arts, Hamilton College (Honors: Sculpture and Arabic Language Studies)

 

PhD Dissertation: “The Dialectical Forge: Proto-System Juridical Disputation in the Kitāb Ikhtilāf al-ʿIrāqiyyīn

MA Thesis: “Stoning and Hand-Amputation: The Pre-Islamic Origins of the Ḥadd Penalties for Zinā and Sariqa

 

Academic Positions

 

Visiting Fellowships

  • (2016-2017) Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Alexander von Humboldt Kolleg (AvHK) for Islamicate Intellectual History
  • (2015-2016) Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Käte Hamburger Kolleg (KHK), Dynamics in the History of Religions Between Asia and Europe
  • (2014-2015) University of Oxford, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Islamic Philosophy and Theology (IMPAcT)
  • (2013) Harvard Law School, Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP)

 

Research Associate / Assistant Positions

  • (2017-Present) McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies
    • current project: “Muḥammad ʿAbduh’s Supercommentary on al-Dawānī’s Commentary on al-Ījī’s Creed: A New Source for the Renewal of Islamic Analytical Theology” (PI: Robert Wisnovsky)
  • (2012-2014) McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies
    • Post-classical Islamic Philosophy Database Initiative (PIPDI)
    • Transmission, Translation, and Transformation in Medieval Cultures (TTT)
    • Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative (ISMI)

Publications

Books

  • (2017) The Dialectical Forge: Juridical Disputation and the Evolution of Islamic Law; Springer: Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning

 

Articles [in square brackets = year submitted, awaiting proofs]

  • (2019) “Concomitance to Causation: Arguing Dawarān in the Proto-Ādāb al-Baḥth,” in Peter Adamson, ed., Philosophy and Jurisprudence in the Islamic World, pp. 205-281 (De Gruyter: Philosophy in the Islamic World in Context)
  • [2019] “On the Formal Evolution of Islamic Juridical Dialectic,” [edited volume from the workshop “Logic, Law, and Legal Reasoning,” at the 6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic (UNILOG), Vichy, France, 2018], Springer: Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning
  • [2019] “Ibn Ḥazm on Heteronomous Imperatives and Modality. A Landmark in the History of the Logical Analysis of Norms” (Co-authored with Shahid Rahman and Farid Zidani), Cambridge Journal of Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
  • (2018) “Al-Samarqandī’s Third Mas’ala: Juridical Dialectic Governed by the Ādāb al-Baḥth,” Oriens 46.1-2, pp. 62-128 (Special Issue: Rationalist Disciplines and Postclassical Islamic Legal Theories)
  • (2016) “Mulāzama in Action in the Early Ādāb al-Baḥth,” Oriens 44.3-4, pp. 332-385 (Special Issue: Major Issues and Controversies of Arabic Logic)
  • [2015] “Have You Considered (A-ra’ayta)? Don’t You See/Opine (A-lā Tarā)? A Working Typology of Ra’ā Formulae in Early Islamic Juridical Disputation,” in Patterns of Argumentation and Exchange of Ideas in Late Antiquity and Early Islam, Y. Papadogiannakis and B. Roggema, eds., Routledge: Centre for Hellenic Studies

 

Online Resources

  • (2019) Digital Edition and Translation: Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī, Kitāb ʿAyn al-Naẓar fī ʿIlm al-Jadal (TEI infrastructure by Frederik Elwert), Digital Humanities at the Center for Religious Studies (DH@CERES), Ruhr-Universität Bochum; https://pages.ceres.rub.de/ayn-al-nazar/
  • (2016) Website and Forum: Society for the Study of Islamicate Dialectical Disputation (SSIDD); https://ssidd.org/

 

Encyclopedia Entries [in square brackets = year submitted, awaiting proofs]

  • [2018] “Dialectic, in the Religious Sciences,” Encyclopaedia of Islam Three
  • (2014) “Karakī, ʿAlī (1466-1534),” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics; Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  • (2013) “Origins of Islamic Law,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law; Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  • (2013) “Uṣūl al-Fiqh,” Oxford Islamic Studies Online (originally for Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Finance)

 

Book Reviews

  • (2016) “The Logic of Law Making in Islam: Women and Prayer in the Legal Tradition, by Behnam Sadeghi,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 136.1, pp. 227-230

Research

Publications in Progress

 

Books

  • On the Protocol for Dialectical Inquiry (Ādāb al-Baḥth): A Critical Edition and Parallel Translation of the Sharḥ al-Risāla al-Samarqandiyya by Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī (fl. ca. 830/1427), Prefaced by a Critical Edition and Parallel Translation of its Grundtext: the Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth by Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 722/1322)
  • Dialecticians in the Margins: Common Glosses on Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī’s Sharḥ al-Risāla al-Samarqandiyya
  • The Jadal Primer: An Introduction to Classical Sunnī Juridical Dialectic

 

Articles

  • “Islamic Legal Theoretical and Dialectical Approaches to Fallacies of Correlation and Causation (7th-8th/13th-14th centuries)” [for an edited volume: papers from the conference “Islamic Legal Theory: Intellectual History and Uṣūl al-Fiqh,” Istanbul, 2019]
  • “On the Logical Machinery of Post-Classical Dialectic: The Kitāb ʿAyn al-Naẓar of Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 722/1322)” [for the Journal of Islamic Philosophy]
  • “Dynamics of Dialectical Disputation in Islam” (Part I: Intra-Religious Contact; Part II: Inter-Religious Contact) [for Entangled Religions: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Religious Contact and Transfer]

 

Invited Talks

  • (2019) Talk: “Towards Cataloging the Muslim Dialecticians’ Arsenal against Fallacious Reasoning in the Religious Sciences: A Preliminary Inquiry with Example Contributions from Islamic Legal Theory and Dialectic,” Project Workshop: “Logic in Reverse. Fallacies in the Latin and the Islamic Traditions (RevLog),” Université de Lille, France, 21-22 Oct.
  • (2019) Talk: “Islamic Legal Theoretical and Dialectical Approaches to Fallacies of Correlation and Causation (7th-8th/13th-14th centuries),” Conference: “Islamic Legal Theory: Intellectual History and Uṣūl al-Fiqh,” convened by Law, Authority, and Learning in Imami Shi‘ite Islam (LAWALISI) and the Faculty of Theology, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, 15-17 Oct.
  • (2018) Keynote: “On the Formal Evolution of Islamic Juridical Dialectic,” Workshop: Logic, Law, and Legal Reasoning; 6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic (UNILOG), Pôle Lardy, Campus Albert Londres, Vichy, France, 25 June
  • (2018) Seminar: “Do Grandfathers Disinherit Brothers? Al-Shāfiʿī vs. the Ahl al-Kalām: Proto-System Jadal in the Dialectical Forge,” Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 24 Jan.
  • (2017) Response to summary paper: “The Transcendence / Immanence-Distinction (TID) as a tertium comparationis in the Study of Religious Contacts,” Conference: The Transcendence/Immanence Distinction in the Study of Religious Contacts Between Asia and Europe, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Dynamics in the History of Religions Between Asia and Europe, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, 08 Sept.
  • (2015) Talk: “Mulāzama in Action in the Early Ādāb al-Baḥth,” Project Workshop: “Major Issues and Controversies of Arabic Logic and Philosophy of Language,” Seminar für Orientalistik und Islamwissenschaft, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, 12 Dec.
  • (2014) Talk: “Have You Considered (A-ra’ayta)? Don’t You See (A-lā Tarā)? Further on the Dialectical Formulae of Early Islam,” “Patterns of Argumentation in Late Antique and Early Islamic Interreligious Debates,” 2nd workshop of the ERC project ‘Defining Belief and Identities in the Eastern Mediterranean: the Role of Interreligious Debate and Interaction (DEBIDEM)’, King’s College, London, United Kingdom, 21 Feb.

 

Conferences & Workshops

  • (2019) Talk: “On the Logical Machinery of Post-Classical Dialectic: The Kitāb ʿAyn al-Naẓar of Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 722/1322),” Islamic Philosophy Conference, Harvard University, USA, 20 April
  • (2019) Text Presentation: “The Section on Dawarān (causal concomitance), in Burhān al-Dīn al-Nasafī (d. 687/1288), al-Fuṣūl fī ʿIlm al-Jadal, and Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 722/1322), Sharḥ Fuṣūl al-Nasafī.” Workshop: “Qiyās in Uṣūl and Related Genres,” Law, Authority, and Learning in Imami Shi‘ite Islam (LAWALISI), Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 31 Jan.
  • (2018) Reading Participant: “Texts on Naskh in Late Classical Uṣūl al-Fiqh” (workshop), Law, Authority, and Learning in Imami Shi‘ite Islam (LAWALISI), Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 22 Jan.
  • (2017) Talk: “Dawarān: Concomitance and Causation in Post Classical Islamic Dialectic and Legal Theory,” Panel: “Islamicate World,” 2nd World Congress on Logic and Religion, University of Warsaw, Poland, 20 June
  • (2017) Panel Chair: “Logic of Talmud and Other Legal Traditions,” 2nd World Congress on Logic and Religion, University of Warsaw, Poland, 19 June
  • (2017) Talk: “Marginal Munāẓara: Dialectical Pedagogy in the Scholia and Glosses of al-Kīlānī’s Sharḥ al-Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth,” Panel: “Between Texts and Networks: Visualizing fourteenth through sixteenth Century Islamicate Intellectual Landscapes,” Fourth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), University of Chester, United Kingdom, 12 April
  • (2016) Talk: “Observing God: Dawarān and Empiricism in Post-Classical Islamic Juridical Dialectic,” Conference: Religion and the Senses, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Dynamics in the History of Religions Between Asia and Europe, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, 08 Sept.
  • (2016) Talk: “Taḥqīq al-Muḥaqqiq fī Ādāb al-Baḥth: Editing a Verifier-Dialectician,” Plenary Session: “IMPAcT: Islamic Intellectual History from Late Medieval to Early Modern,” Third Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), University of London, United Kingdom, 11 April
  • (2015) Talk: “Models for Argument Analysis: Scripting al-Samarqandī’s Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth” (read in absentia by Judith Pfeiffer), Panel: “ʿIlm wa Taʿallum: Madrasas, Dialectic and Mysticism in the 13th-16th Centuries,” Second Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), University of London, United Kingdom, 13 April
  • (2012) Panel Chair: “The Qur’ān,” Second Annual Graduate Student Symposium of the McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Student Council, McGill University, Montréal, Canada, 28 April
  • (2007) Talk: “Defining Casuistry in Islamic Law,” Panel: “Modern Encounters with the Pre-modern in Islamic Law,” 41st Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Montréal, Canada, 19 Nov.

 

Visiting Fellow Talks

 

Alexander von Humboldt Kolleg for Islamicate Intellectual History, Universität Bonn

  • (2017) “Student-Reading the Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth: Unpacking al-Samarqandī’s Problems through Commentary and Gloss,” 27 July
  • (2017) “Dialecticians’ Contexts: New Material for the Scholarly Lives of Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (d. 722/1322) and Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī (fl. ca. 830/1427),” 28 Feb.
  • (2016) “From the Margins of the Ādāb: a First Protocol for Gloss Collation,” 06 Dec.
  • (2016) “Exploring Islamic Dialectical Disputation,” 13 Oct.

 

Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Dynamics in the History of Religions Between Asia and Europe, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • (2015) “Islamic Dialectics and Post-Avicennian Argument to the Senses,” 16 Nov.

 

ERC Project: Islamic Philosophy and Theology, University of Oxford (Series: Late Medieval and Early Modern Islamicate Intellectual History)

  • (2015) “A Muḥaqqiq of the Ādāb al-Baḥth: Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī’s Sharḥ al-Risāla al-Samarqandiyya as a Model of Verification-Commentary in the Early 9th/15th Century,” 25 July
  • (2015) “Critical, Functional, and Accessible? Challenges in Formatting Kīlānī’s Commentary,” 09 Feb.
  • (2014) “A Dialectic on Definitions: the Aristotelian Analyses of Quṭb al-Dīn al-Kīlānī (fl. ca. 830/1427) in his Commentary on the Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth,” 11 Dec.

 

Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School (2013 Lecture Series)

  • (2013) “Jadal and Uṣūl al-Fiqh: Vignettes from the Dialectical Forge,” 16 April

Courses 

  • (2010, 2011) Instructor: “Central Questions in Islamic Law” (Part I: Premodern)
  • (2010) Teaching Fellow: “Science and Civilization in Islam” (with Prof. Jamil Ragep)
  • (2006, 2007) Teaching Fellow: “Central Questions in Islamic Law” (with Prof. Wael Hallaq)
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