The epistemic qualities of premodern experience were located within a much wider web of connections between the individual, ethics, society, theology, and technology. Experience could be a cognitive achievement, a psychological perfection in the soul of the scientist, a testimonial report on parchment, an authoritative or evidentiary inscription, an epistemic practice or method, and much more. Although conceptually separable, experience’s epistemic qualities only appear, thrive, and perpetually evolve in interaction with social, moral, theological, and technical norms and developments. Working Groups and individual projects in this Theme in Focus explore the interactions of what is epistemic about experience with its ethical and social, disciplinary and technological, and local and temporal aspects.
Hannah C. Erlwein hosts a biweekly podcast on classical Islamic theology (kalām). Kalamopod covers topics discussed by kalām scholars and asks how the science of kalām came about, the types of arguments and methods it used, the aims and concerns of its practitioners, and the defenses they offered to their science’s detractors.