Truth, Knowledge, and Power in Islam Before the Nineteenth Century: A Heuristic Perspective on the Separation of Powers and the Rule of Law

Professor Wael Hallaq (Columbia University) 
Wednesday, 18 May 2022

This seminar will begin at 5pm in the Centre's Jerusalem Room. Prior booking is not required. All welcome. 

Professor Hallaq is also presenting a Book Seminar at the Centre on Saturday 21st May. For more information and to register: Orientalism and the Philology of the New Human | Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (


Wael B. Hallaq is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he has been teaching ethics, law, and political thought since 2009. His teaching and research deal with the problematic epistemic ruptures generated by the onset of modernity and the socio-politico-historical forces subsumed by it; with the intellectual history of Orientalism and the repercussions of Orientalist paradigms in later scholarship and in Islamic legal studies as a whole; and with the synchronic and diachronic development of Islamic traditions of logic, legal theory, and substantive law and the interdependent systems within these traditions. Hallaq’s writings have explored the structural dynamics of legal change in pre-modern law, and have examined the centrality of moral theory to understanding the history of Islamic law and modern political movements. For the past decade and a half, his work has increasingly focused on the critique of the modern project, including the paradigmatic structures of knowledge that drive it. His current research attempts to map the constitutional practices of Islamic governance between the eighth and eighteenth centuries, with a view, among other things, to constructing a heuristic for a critique of modern constitutional arrangements.


Source: Wael Hallaq | MESAAS (