Renovatio examines timeless questions and today’s moral challenges by drawing from the enduring texts of revelatory faith traditions and current scholarship. We publish essays that are both rigorous and readable so that anyone, no matter his or her intellectual interests, can weigh and consider the ideas we present. Our second issue focuses on the themes of pluralism and tolerance, considering that we live in a time when we are challenged and shaped by varied beliefs and practices. This Fall 2017 issue of Renovatio seeks to foster fruitful conversations that can help us arrive at a truer measure of the distance of our differences.
Table of Contents
Letter from the Editor
Despite the diversity of our countless creeds, colors, and cultures, our society has been subsumed into a monoculture of ersatz arts, entertainment, and consumerism. How can we recapture humanity’s once extraordinary individuality?
Wisdom in Pieces
Science, philosophy, and art have been blown apart, and our conversations have devolved into chaos. How do we begin to learn the art of disagreement?
Caner K. Dagli
The Silent Theology of Islamic Art
To many, Islamic art can speak more profoundly and clearly than even the written word. Is it wiser then for Muslims to show, not to tell?
The Pinocchio within Us
Despite seeming differences, Pinocchio’s reality may almost be identical to our own, even if our noses do not threaten to grow longer at every misdeed.
Rules of Engagement
In religious dialogue, are virtue and good manners (adab) ultimately as important as, or perhaps more important than, the eloquence of words and the rigor of arguments?
Maria Massi Dakake
Where Islam and Nationalism Collide
Islam contains teachings that clearly argue against the most important elements of nationalism.
Notes on Nationalism
The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself, but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.
In the absence of a critical assessment of the reality of race and racism in the history of Islam, Muslims remain susceptible to accepting broad generalizations of a colorblind Islamic history.
Abdullah bin Hamid Ali
Among the Disbelievers
How does the “radical other”—the unbeliever, and not merely the wayward Abrahamic cousin—figure in Islamic discourses on toleration and coercion?
Andrew F. March
Liberal Education at Zaytuna College
Mark Damien Delp
Liberal Education at St. John’s College