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Monthly ArchiveMarch 2014

Visit | Professor Dr Mehmet Asutay

Professor Dr Mehmet Asutay, Director of the Durham Centre for Islamic, who was in Brunei Darussalam attending the conference on Islamic Finance, paid a visit to SOASCIS on 27th of March 2014. To receive him was Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, Director and Chair Professor of SOASCIS, and Associate Professor Dr Jabal Buaben, academic staff of SOASCIS.

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Meeting | Visitors from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

SOASCIS welcome 3 visitors from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan on the 22nd of March 2014. Professor Seiji Shinbata, the  Secretary General of AAIS, Professor Masahiro Uehara of Kagawa University, and his spouse Mrs Masahiro Uehara.

The purpose of their visit to our Centre was to invite SOASCIS to be part of Annual Conference Series on Asian Islam Studies, proposed to be held in October this year.

Present to greet the visitors was Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, Director and Chair Professor of SOASCIS. SOASCIS’ academic staff and graduate students attended the meeting as well.

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Prof. Seiji Shinbata

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Prof. Seiji Shinbata

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Professor Masahiro Uehara

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Professor Masahiro Uehara

SICON 4 | November 2014

Updated: 26th May 2014

Fourth SOASCIS International Conference (SICON 4) 

Dates: 3rd – 5th November 2014/10-12 Muharram 1435

Venue: Senate Room, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD)

Theme: The Teaching of Islamic Civilisation in Today’s Universities and Colleges:

               A Review for New Strategic Educational Goals

 

Co-Organisers

Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), UBD
International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Centre for Civilisation Studies, Istanbul Medeniyet University,Turkey
Faculty of Human Ecology, University Putra Malaysia (UPM)
ISTAC, International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM)
Faculty of Islamic Civilisation, University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM) 
Oxford University, UK 

           

Introduction

Islamic civilisation is still a widely taught subject in universities and colleges in the Islamic world despite a decline of intellectual and academic concern with the subject in its higher institutions of higher learning. It is either taught as an independent subject or a complete module or as part of another subject, particularly Islamic history. In some universities and colleges Islamic civilisation is taught as a compulsory subject or module to all students, including non-Muslims, which they must also pass in order to graduate.

Of late, both the usefulness and the effectiveness of university and college courses on Islamic civilisation have been increasingly questioned within the academic community as well as by members of the public, although overall support for such courses is still strong. In the light of this development, it would be a good idea if the teaching of Islamic civilisation in universities and colleges is thoroughly reviewed with respect to its objectives, content or curriculum, and pedagogy or teaching methods with the view of making it more effective and attractive to students.    

SOASCIS and its co-organisers share the belief that rightly taught and emphasized the subject of Islamic civilisation can offer many intangible benefits to students regardless of their religion, especially to the enhancement of their creative thinking and intellectual outlook. SOASCIS in particular, which since January 2014 has been entrusted with the task of teaching a one-semester compulsory module to all students of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), looks upon this historic task as both a challenge and an opportunity to advance teaching and research in the area of Islamic civilisation in institutions of higher learning.  

Objectives of SICON 4    

To review the current teaching of Islamic civilisation in universities, colleges and schools with respect to its content and teaching methods;
To formulate new goals and strategies in the teaching of Islamic civilisation with the view of making it more effective and beneficial to contemporary Muslim societies;
To help make the living nature of Islamic civilisation better understood and appreciated and its lasting contributions to human civilisation better known, especially to non-Muslims;
To provide a platform for scholars, teachers and students of Islamic civilisation to exchange views and experiences on how best to popularise the subject of Islamic civilisation in their respective institutions and communities;
To help advance the cause of Islamic civilisational review in the 21st century.

 

Paper Presenters

A number of distinguished international and national speakers and paper presenters are invited to deliver their presentations on topics that have been respectively specifically assigned to them. Others interested in presenting papers are most welcome to do so, but the topics of their papers should clearly pertain to one of the above objectives of the Conference.

Deadlines for Submission of Abstracts and Final Papers

All abstracts of conference papers and biodata of paper writers in not more than 200 words should be emailed to the SICON Secretariat the latest by 15th September 2014 and full papers by 15th October 2014. Please email abstracts, biodata, and full papers to sicon.soascis@ubd.edu.bn

Registration Fees

Category

Rate

 

Domestic participants

BND 300

Domestic presenters

BND 250

Domestic students

BND 100

International participants

USD 300

International presenters

USD 250

International students

USD 200

 

 

 Please click here: Registration Form – SICON 4 |For programme of the SICON conference: Programme – 02

 

Post Conference Seminar | AP Dr Jabal Buaben

“Faith Commitment and Academic Integrity – Are They Incompatible?”

by 

Associate Professor Dr Jabal Buaben

Lecturer, SOASCIS 

 

AP Dr Jabal during the Post-Conference Seminar

AP Dr Jabal during the Post-Conference Seminar

Attendees at the Post Conference Seminar

Attendees at the Post Conference Seminar

Abstract:

The general non-Muslim perception of Islam and Muslims in our contemporary Global Village leaves much to be desired.

In the aggressive secular constituency, faith, and Islam for that matter, seems to be seen as an impediment to Sound, Critical, Objective and Fair scholarly discourse.

Science and Religion /Theology are often seen as at loggerheads with each other and hence, the latter, has no contribution to make to the excellent strides humankind is making in Science and Education, in general.

This paper is an attempt to question this perception and affirm that religion qua religion , has crucial values that, instead of impinging on Critical, Objective, Dispassionate and Fair Scholarship, rather seek to promote it. After all, there is a lot of evidence in history that many renowned scholars in all fields of human endeavour had affiliations with Theology as well.

 

 

Workshop | Joint-Workshop with Oxford University | 26th-27th February 2014

SOASCIS – OXFORD UNIVERSITY WORKSHOP

A team from the SOASCIS joined other scholars from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and the United Kingdom for a two-day workshop at the St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford on 26th and 27th February.

This was a collaborative workshop with: The Middle East Centre [MEC] and the Asian Studies Centre [ASC], St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford; and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies [OCIS], Oxford.

The theme of the workshop was: ‘Contemporary Challenges to Inter- Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue in South East Asia: Cross-Cultural Perspectives’. 

The team from the SOASCIS comprised: Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar, the Director, SOASCIS; Associate Professor Dr. Azman Bin Ahmad, the Assistant Vice Chancellor [Academic], Universiti Brunei Darussalam; Pg. Dr. Norhazlin Pg. Hj. Muhammad, the Deputy Director, SOASCIS; and Associate Professor Dr. Jabal M. Buaben, Programme Leader for Graduate Studies, SOASCIS.

The main rationale for the workshop was to assemble a crop of scholars with expertise on Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue to explore issues relevant to the region. This would then be an initial forum for better collaboration in research in the field. It was also meant to be a forum to share ideas on the theme looking forward for possible lessons that other regions around Asia and Europe could benefit from.

Papers Presented: The titles of papers presented by the SOASCIS/UBD team were: Professor Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar: Southeast Asian Muslims and Interreligious Dialogue in the Post-Colonial Era: An Overview

Associate Professor Azman Bin Ahmad: Brunei Darussalam as a Model of Multi-Religious Society in South East Asia. 

Pg. Dr. Norhazlin Pg. Hj. Muhammad: Religion and Secularism: Education in Brunei Darussalam in the Light of the Philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy.

(L to R: Pg Dr Norhazlin, AP Dr Jabal, AP Dr Azman, Dr Al Bakry, Prof Datuk Osman)

(L to R: Pg Dr Norhazlin, AP Dr Jabal, AP Dr Azman, Dr Al Bakry, Prof Datuk Osman)

AP Dr Jabal at the workshop in Oxford

AP Dr Jabal at the workshop in Oxford

Pg Dr Norhazlin at the workshop in Oxford

Pg Dr Norhazlin at the workshop in Oxford

Other Meetings:  There were other meetings held with various individuals to discuss issues regarding collaboration in research activities. The most important of these was held with key representatives of the St. Antony’s College, The Middle East Centre [MEC] and the Asian Studies Centre [ASC] all in Oxford University, and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies [OCIS], Oxford. This was basically to think of the possibilities for further collaborative activities. Matters raised included: [a] Possibility of Graduate Students from the Institutions working together through workshops and exchanges; [b]Possibility of SOASCIS / UBD helping to fill in a gap in expertise of the South East Asian region at the Asian Studies Centre; [c] Possibility of creating a Fellowship jointly  with part-University and part –external funding,  for example, jointly with the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies; [d] Possible creation of Visiting Fellowships as such models already exist in the St. Antony’s College and SOASCIS; [e]Possibility of Informal or Formal  co-supervision of research students between SOASCIS and the Middle East Centre / the Asian Study Centre; [e] In relation to Area/Regional Studies Research Scheme, the prospect, in the future, of having a Fellowship in ASEAN Studies focusing on Brunei Darussalam as a Centre and Leader in the Region. 

The Next Step:  It was agreed in principle that these matters are to be discussed further and be taken step-by-step. Hence, a second workshop is to be convened in 2015 to follow directly on from this initial broad workshop theme, or to focus on a specific theme developed from the discussions during this workshop.

Overall, it was a very fruitful workshop and we are looking forward to the next one.

 

 

Prepared by: AP Dr Jabal Buaben