A Religion of Love: The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Understanding Islam


In academic circles as well as daily realities, Islam often appears as exoterically law-oriented, demanding human’s obedience, even fear, and its Prophet is seen as a man of war against infidels. This image of Islam as a religion of terror and violence not only caused misunderstandings, but has also shaped an attitude of suspicion and anger among many Muslims towards life and their fellow humans. In my presentation I will argue for the need for a paradigm shift in the understanding of Islam from a religion oriented to law (nomos) to one oriented to love (eros), from prioritizing orthodoxy to orthopraxy. Supporting phenomenologists such as Gerardus van der Leeuw and Annemarie Schimmel, I contend that Islam is not less than Christianity in its orientation towards love.


Haidar Bagir earned his M.A. from Harvard University and his PhD  from the University of Indonesia, both in Islamic philosophy. He has been listed among The 500 Most Influential Muslims since 2009. Among his recent books are Islam: the Faith of Love and Happiness (Kube Publishing, UK, 2017), Epistemologi Tasawuf, and two books on Ibn ‘Arabi and Rumi.

Look at the full poster of the event here.



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