Practical wisdom and Islam: reimagining Islamic law, from the local to the global

Tom Woerner - Powell, Ricca Edmondson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter aims to mitigate the ‘otherness’ often attributed to Islamic law, which is sometimes claimed to be incommensurable with principles in other traditions. It draws on local and global contexts: legal anthropologies in the Middle East and North Africa, and writing on the emerging field of Islamic environmental jurisprudence. Applying the Aristotelian concept of phronesis, practical wisdom, as an interpretive tool in cases such as issuing fatwas, it shows how they appear less alien when we trace the operations of practitioners’ ethical interventions, helping individuals move on from their predicaments in constructive directions. This aims at widening avenues for scholarly analysis of Islamic legal practices, and at using methods of intercultural understanding to assuage a source of avoidable tension between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplying wisdom to contemporary world problems
EditorsRobert J. Sternberg, Howard Nusbaum, Judith Glück
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9783030202873
ISBN (Print)9783030202866
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Intercultural understanding
  • Fiqh
  • Aristotle
  • Anthropology of law, socio-legal, corruption, Mediterranean, Middle East
  • Environmental Law
  • Islamic Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Practical wisdom and Islam: reimagining Islamic law, from the local to the global'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this