Renovatio:  Are We One and the Same?

Renovatio: Are We One and the Same?

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Say “Are they equal, those who know and those who do not know?” (Qur’an 39:9)

Renovatio’s Fall 2021 edition focuses on the timely and timeless matter of equality. The pursuit of equality has been pervasive yet remains elusive. Do we have a shared definition of equality, and can we recognize each other’s humanity without imposing upon ourselves conformity? Writers of varied backgrounds and traditions explore the allure—and the shortcomings—of our more compelling constructs of egalitarianism.

Table of Contents

When Equality Is Not Enough

Equality is indisputably a central Islamic moral value, but preventing domination could be Islam’s most important legal principle.

Mohammad Fadel

The Human Arts of Graceful Giving and Grateful Receiving

Expressing thanks comes from good manners and also accrues future benefits. But is there more to gratitude than attending to politeness and seeking reward?

Joshua Lee Harris 

Equal To?

Equality is a relation, but the most consequential relation in society is that between inequality and liberty.

Eva Brann

What Is the Place of Democracy in Islam?

Can—and should—democracy be a deep commitment for religious Muslims?

Andrew F. March

The Egalitarian Objection to Liberal Education

Far from being elitist and aristocratic, the liberal arts can free the human soul in the pursuit of human flourishing and advance the cause of equality.

Thomas Hibbs

Why Salvation Means Submission

Jane Eyre, as both a domestic romance and bildungsroman, speaks to secular debates of gender, empire, and psyche, but the novel is in fact a deeply pious text.

Sarah Barnette

On Divine Love

In an age of angst and fury, we would do well to turn to piety rooted in a love of God.

Faraz Khan

“People Are Equal Like the Teeth of a Comb”

How do we account for a common humanity in a way that does not lead to bare uniformity, whereby we must all be human in the same way?

Rosabel Ansari

“The Diversity of Your Languages and Complexions”

Ethnic diversity serves as a sign of God, demonstrating that His ramifying creativity has been at work, and getting to know others enriches and enlarges the self

Juan Cole

A City We Can All Belong To

The Factory Syndrome has frayed the social fabric of industrial cities. Can insights about urbanization by the fourteenth-century Muslim polymath Ibn Khaldun help remedy our current crisis of community?

Marwa al-Sabouni

Is There Moral Equality Between Humans and Animals?

Like humans, animals possess rights—but are their rights any weaker than ours?

Claus Dierksmeier

Spirituality in the Postmodern World

How ought traditional metaphysics grapple with “liquid” spiritualities that revolve not around objectivity but around the individual self, free from all doctrinal restraints?

Esmé L. K. Partridge


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