By Dr. Matthew Wilkinson
Thursday 6 April 2017. Dr. Matthew Wilkinson delivered a conference paper at the Leiden Islam Academie, University of Leiden, Holland entitled ‘Bridging the ‘unserious’ gap between Islamic Studies and the experience of Islam’ about how the philosophy of Islamic Critical Realism can be applied to bridge the ‘unserious’ gap between Islamic Studies and the experience of Islam in the world today. In particular, it showed that by mobilising the fulcrum of critical realism – the relationship between spiritual being with spiritual knowing and understanding and spiritual deliberation and commitment-making – a pedagogy to embrace both teaching about and teaching for Islam can be developed. The paper was enthusiastically received and perhaps, even more pleasingly, was the fact that Curriculum for Cohesion’s work with the philosophy of critical realism has been picked up and used by other researchers on the continent as an effective theoretical approach to researching Muslims in Europe.