Great Mosque of Mecca

Is Islam a Product of Late Antiquity?

Arabia was a significant part of the Late Antiquity from which Islam emerged. Contrary to traditional sources, writer Muhammad Ali Sohail article argues that what eventually became the Islamic civilisation was a continuation of Late Antiquity’s most salient features, with late antique empires establishing the foundations for the initial development of Islam. Moreover, it highlights the role played by traditional sources in instigating academic curiosity and mistrust from revisionist scholars who challenged the traditionalist premise entirely.

Heroes' Acre in Namibia, a former German colony, commemorating honouring Namibian soldiers during the Namibian War of Independence

Is there a Global Post Colony?

Uniting all post-colonies as a global post-colony is a notion that diminishes the historical, historiographical and cultural differences present in each post-colony around the world. Therefore, unifying colonial legacies and treating them as a homogenised unit disregards their experiences, which damages their diverse yet relative historical progress. Instead, one should aim for an alternative perception of understanding a global post-colony, as the idea is not completely unworkable but provides a strong epistemological foundation to combat Western hegemonic discourses.

Dawn on Charles V palace in Alhambra, Granada, Spain.

Inventing the Islamic ‘Golden Age’

The Muslim Golden Age is a historiographical creation like many other conceptions that influence our view of Medieval history. Muslim culture and civilisation flourished throughout an age of exception stability and wealth until at least the early thirteenth century (Kafadar, 2010). The Golden Age highlights the greatest achievements accomplished by the Muslim world between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, with the Ottomans and Mughals, who are normally disregarded, being included as part of this time period.

Aristoteles Sculpture

Does science need philosophy?

Scientific truth is not perfect, not permanent, not immediate, and not necessarily the ultimate truth. Science does not deliver the ‘meaning of life’ truth – but science is always getting closer to the truth. While science is humanity’s transcending achievement, science as a way of thinking is an evolving enterprise. What makes science work? What constitutes good science? What are the boundaries of science? How deep can science dig into the foundations of the world? These are the kinds of questions that “philosophy of science” asks. However, some scientists dismiss philosophy as archaic, a hindrance to science, a nuisance to its progress.

Soviet Union, early 1980s

Transformation in Russian Civil Society

This analysis studies the transformations in Russian civil society from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century. It argues that powerful political structures, formed during the Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet periods, have influenced civil society arrangements in the modern-day Russian Federation. Similar to Russian forms of democracy and the market economy, which diverge substantially from Western European models, civil society as it exists in the RussianFederation has not followed the West’s trajectory of development. This Russian iteration of civil society, which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is the result of successive transformations across social sectors over several centuries and is justified through various factors unique to the Russian socio-political context.