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www.ismaili.net :: View topic - Aga Khan IV, the Ismailis, and the Cosmopolitan Ethic
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Aga Khan IV, the Ismailis, and the Cosmopolitan Ethic

 
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:58 am    Post subject: Aga Khan IV, the Ismailis, and the Cosmopolitan Ethic Reply with quote

Thesis [PDF]: Aga Khan IV, the Ismailis, and the making of a Cosmopolitan Ethic

Beyond Muslim Xenophobia and Contemporary Parochialism: Aga Khan IV, the Ismailis, and the making of a Cosmopolitan Ethic

Sahir Dewji[/b]

http://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3158&context=etd

Aga Khan IV is the forty-ninth hereditary Imam of the Shia Nizari Ismaili
Muslims (or ‘Ismailis’ for short). As a Muslim leader, Aga Khan IV
addresses salient issues concerning humankind in the contemporary world and
expresses the challenges of living under such conditions through his public
speeches and the institutions of the Ismaili Imamate. His discourse is
informed by the inseparability of din (faith) and dunya; (world), which is
viewed as being a central function to the office of Imamate. Aga Khan IV
adopts a context-rich approach that addresses modernity by integrating
commitments to theology with religio-cultural ethics, a formulation that
facilitates the engagement of the Ismaili community in the contemporary
world. A key feature of Aga Khan IV’s worldview is a tolerant and
cosmopolitan attitude with deep spiritual underpinnings, which appeals to a
broad range of individuals, not just Ismailis.

This research situates and
explains Aga Khan IV’s concept of a ‘cosmopolitan ethic’ within concerns of
human diversity and understandings of the Self-Other paradigm in human
narratives. I demonstrate how significant initiatives of Aga Khan IV
promote a cosmopolitan ethic, helping to foster a moral sensibility among
the Ismailis and communities at large. A critical analysis of Aga Khan
IV’s ‘cosmopolitan ethic’ is undertaken through the consideration of
broader discourses and experiences of cosmopolitanism throughout history.

Moreover, his articulation rests on foundational precepts grounded in the
Abrahamic moral tradition and is informed by an esoteric spirit of Islam
that has long been captured in Shii thought. This dissertation
also discusses the ways in which the cosmopolitan ethic is manifested
within the institutions of the Imamate in Canada. Using the case study of
three institutions: the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Ismaili Centre
Toronto, and the Aga Khan Museum, I demonstrate how these sites implement
and craft a spirit of cosmopolitanism within their infrastructure and
programing while exhibiting elements that are rooted in history and
tradition.
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