Keywords: Islam, intellect, intellectual life, tradition, history, education, modernity, Qur'an, monotheism, fundamentalism, ideologies, religion, religious studies, reason, Enlightenment

Abstract: One of the major features of the transformation of Islam into one of the great civilisations of the world was its vigorous intellectual and literary life which found expression in diverse schools of thought and communities of interpretation. To generate discussion on the nature and significance of this development, The Institute of Ismaili Studies organised a one-week seminar in the summer of 1994, attended by leading scholars and specialists in Islamic studies from around the world. In his Keynote Address for the seminar, Aziz Esmail reflected on the concepts and implications of the terms "intellectual life", "tradition" and "Islam".