The Umran Academic Research Association (UARA) is an academic project of the Umran Green Perspective Foundation (established as a section 8 company in India under the 2013 Act), which was founded by Rajeev Kumar. The UARA draws inspiration from Professor Bruce B Lawrence’s teachings on the Cosmopolitan Spirit (based on his theory of ‘barzakh logic’) and the green perspective of UMRAN (a sustainable approach, Bauhaus philosophy, and values and respects to the environment) to foster the global cosmopolitan spirit. Barzakh is a Quranic term that signifies “divider” or “barrier.” Prof. Bruce theorizes the term as a civilizational and cosmopolitan force. He conceives barzakh as a crucial word, as a bridge rather than a barrier that brings all cultures, people, races, and religions in communication without losing their identity or originality. According to him, barzakh is a thin line or inter-space that links two realms without allowing one to be diluted or overshadowed by the other. He refers to this liminality as ‘barzakh logic’.
By encouraging dialogues and establishing new networks of solidarity, barzakh logic is crucial in overcoming the persisting binary distinctions of Hindu-Muslim, East-West, Man-Woman Religion-Science, which is leading to a myriad of conflicts in an increasingly polarised post-truth world order. Barzakh logic, thus, brings everything in consonance with each other; East-West, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Men-Women, Human-Nature, Evil-Good, God-Man to come together to spiritually attain the zenith of human existence and civilization: we can call it ishq-e haqiqi, or ilm al-umran, or muhabbat -e kul. The teaching of Professor Bruce’s Barzakh logic is the conscience, which carries or manifests in the ancient teachings of Buddha’s karuna (compassion), Shankara’s Advaita, Hallaj’s ana’l-haqq, Ibn Arabia’s wahdat al-wujud, Kabir’s poetry (which is in vernacular), Ibn Khaldun’s ilm al-umran, Abu’l Fazl and Akbar’s muhabbat-e kul, and Marshall Hodgson’s Islamicate.
This academic project is organized in thematic networks focusing on rethinking the concept of identity and developing an integrated understanding of the environment, history, literature and philosophy in establishing a constructive and creative dialogue fostering peace and prosperity.
The application for Bruce B Lawrence Scholarship is open now. The deadline for the application is till September 30th of August 2021. To apply for the application click the link below-
The understanding religion has been reduced to time and space which narrows the spirit and scope of religion and religion understanding. Islam as a religion needs to be disscussed among both Muslims and Non- Muslims beyond time and space for the scope and spirit of religion.
As we know that religion plays a significant role in society. But when we talk about India, Religious studies are sidelined from academic institutions, but they are hotly debated in public for social and political interest. As a result, religion and religious understanding have become more limited in scope and spirit. Prophet Muhammad was more than just a Muslim. He was also cosmopolitan in nature and character, which enabled him to communicate with others either to follow him or live together peacefully. Thus, Prophet Muhmmad was the epitome of adab and cosmopolitan. Bruce B Lawrence talks about religion as adab and civilization or ecumenical. He puts both adab and civilization together and calls it the Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit.
Islamicate Cosmopolitan is not restricted to Islam only but also expresses the Indic Spirit “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The whole world is one Family) and Technological adavncement in the West.
Prof Bruce Lawrence says that the Islamicate Cosmopolitans have had a distinctive impact across the Afro-Eurasian ecumene, at the center of civilized contact between competing yet convergent interests. Thus, the Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit defies East and West binaries, incorporates components of humanity’s collective past, and pursues “adab”- a moral existence that is both aesthetic and agonistic, individual and collective. The book introduces the concept of barzakh logic as a new methodology for studying Islamic history in the broader context of world history.