About IJIS

Founded under the aegis of Respect Graduate School (RGS), Interdisciplinary Journal of Islamic Studies (IJIS) aspires to become an indexed international English-language journal of Islamic studies, humanities, and social sciences. Inspired by the vision(s) offered by modern Islamic renewal traditions and intersectionality theories, IJIS invites its writers (and readers) to reflect on the profundity of the divine aspects of the world as manifested not only by the sacred traditions of humankind but also by the world around in the multiplicity of its innumerable aesthetic, cognitive, and spiritual aspects. IJIS underscores the fundamental role of the researcher in affirming the usefulness of his or her insight(s) as it comes to discerning respects of similarity and difference and developing a dialectic between data and theoretical categories. IJIS thus understands “interdisciplinarity” as a scholarly approach potentially able to relate itself to all conceivable expressions of religious phenomena, whether they are specific or general, pragmatic, or theoretical, moral or metaphysical. This potential is actualized through various styles of inquiry, including phenomenological (beginning with meticulous description), comparative (drawing on the data of diverse religious traditions), historical (tracing the evolution of a religious idea across different time periods), analytical (aiming to discern the key features of a religious concept), literary (aiming to elucidate what renders a religious phenomenon significant in a manner that captivates imagination and insight), theoretical (striving for a comprehensive and cohesive comprehension of an aspect of religion), and evaluative (bringing together competing constructive theories and endeavoring to discern the superior contender(s)). Moreover, this interdisciplinary approach is complemented by its correlation with a range of relevant disciplines such as the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and such crafts as law, medicine, and politics. IJIS is thus interested in each of these styles and the data of each of these disciplines as fecundating the ground for higher universal viewpoints as regards religious phenomena. What makes it even more unique, however, is its specific focus on Islamic studies as an interdisciplinary field. 

Aims and Scope

Published bi-annually, IJIS is a forum for double blind peer-reviewed articles that highlight critical points of intersection between religious traditions and sociocultural phenomena, faith and science, theology and philosophy, religious diversity, and unity. It aims at discussing, exchanging, advancing, and disseminating scholarly research on Islam and Muslim societies on a global scale and examining historical and contemporary encounters between faith traditions.

The Rationale

There is a need for this journal because it uniquely fulfils the need to address the issue of explicating the implicitly interdisciplinary character of religious studies in general, and Islamic studies in particular. Religious phenomena are inherently complex, so any attempts to meaningfully categorize and intelligently explain them stand in need of the data provided by multiple disciplines. The multidisciplinary and comparative focus of our journal helps its authors and readers detect and hence address the issue of disciplinary parochialism and its frequently attendant biases, as well as opening new lines of research that would normally remain underexplored.

Existing Journals

The most immediate advantage of this journal is that it offers insights into the crucial role of interdisciplinarity in Islamic studies and approaches Islamic tradition not only as a historical phenomenon but as a current lived reality as well. Further, other existing journals with the same goal are not always published in English; even if they do, they do not focus on Islamic tradition. Besides, our journal is affiliated with a Respect Graduate School (RGS) and therefore operates on an institutionalized basis. That is, the academic stuff of RGS provides a rigorous academic and institutional support to all aspects of our journal’s work, e.g., organizing conference to draw attention to unique and/or underexplored topics in the field and gain scholarly insights as to the future of the field(s). Furthermore, the journal’s affiliation with a graduate school naturally facilitates the processes of peer-reviewing and editing articles.

The Audience

The audience of our international journal are all those interested in Islamic Studies around the world; predominantly, however, we envision them to be undergraduate and graduate students, starting and well-established experts in the field. Thanks to the multidisciplinary character of our journal, it can address issues dealt with in such various fields as Religious Studies, Interreligious Studies, Historical Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Theology, Comparative Theology, etc.

How do we generate sufficient high-quality contributions?

Our journal has established a well-developed network of experts in the field helping us with collecting the articles and contributing themselves as editors, peer-reviewers, and advisors. IJIS entertains a very strong advisory and editorial committee, currently including such people as Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Prof. Wael Hallaq, Prof. George Saliba, Prof. Abrahim H. Khan, Prof. Paul Weller, Rev. Monshin Paul Naamon, Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen, Prof. Zeki Saritoprak, Father Thomas Michel, to name just a few. We also plan to set up, one time per every two years and under the auspices of Respect Graduate School, a conference that would attract the attention of the experts in the field and allow us to extend our network. For instance, in November 2024, we are planning to co-host a conference with John Carrol University (Ohio) on the future of Islamic studies are regards the prominent late Ottoman/Turkish thinker Said Nursi. Producing special issues that focus on specific topics is another strategy that we deploy to ensure the sufficient inflow of contributions. 

Our unique selling points

  1. Our journal uniquely focuses on the interdisciplinary character of studying religious phenomena in general, and Islamic religious phenomena in particular. There are few other journals in the market that undertook an analogous mission as related to Islamic studies; all of them, however, seem to lack our journal’s explicit awareness that genuine interdisciplinarity cannot but include an interreligious perspective. Sans an interreligious approach, Islamic studies would lack important historical data regarding religious phenomena as a whole, might be unable to detect possible group biases, and would fail to put constitutive parts of Islamic phenomena in sharper relief vis-à-vis those of non-Islamic religious phenomena. As a result, interdisciplinarity lacking an explicit interreligious perspective would hardly contribute into a comprehensive and objective picture of the place and role of Islamic phenomena in the modern-day world.
  2. It represents a living tradition.
  3. It is affiliated with a Respect Graduate School (RGS) and therefore operates on an institutionalized basis.