Abstract When speaking about Islam and contemporary issues in science, Guessoum's Islam's Quantum Question shares many characterizations with Barbourian science and religion discourse. The focus is on theological responses to particular scientific theories. In this article I suggest an expansion of the discourse by looking at how science meets religion (as well as other local system of knowledge) in practice, in particular events such as natural disaster, when they are called upon as sources of meaning (...) making. The encounter takes place not only at the cognitive level, but may take the form of competition, collaboration, or negotiation over the authority to provide explanation. In practice the authority is supported not only by objective knowledge but involves many other factors, including politics. Thus, part of my proposal for expansion suggests the broadening of how we understand science and religion to include how assertions of authority are made in practice. (shrink)
This paper places “Islam and bioethics” within the framework of “religion and science” discourse. It thus may be seen as a complement to the paper by Henk ten Have () with which this thematic section in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science opens, which places “Islam and bioethics” in the context of contemporary bioethics. It turns out that in Zygon there have been more submitted articles on Islam and bioethics than on any other Islam-related (...) topic. This may be a consequence of the global nature of the bioethical issues, driven by advancement in science and technology, which allows for conversation across cultural and religious boundaries even when the normative references and argumentative methods are tradition-specific. (shrink)
Introduction -- Reconstructing Nisaburi's early education -- Nisaburi's early scientific thought -- Nisaburi's early religious thought -- Astrology motivating inductions about God's power -- Nisaburi's later scientific thought -- The impact of science on Nisaburi's religious thought -- The limits of science's influence on Nisaburi's religious thought -- Conclusion.
Introduction -- Reconstructing Nīsābūrī's early education -- Nīsābūrī's early scientific thought -- Nīsābūrī's early religious thought -- Astrology motivating inductions about God's power -- Nīsābūrī's later scientific thought -- The impact of science on Nīsābūrī's religious thought -- The limits of science's influence on Nīsābūrī's religious thought -- Conclusion.
Abstract The publication of Islam's Quantum Question coincided with a burst of interest in the subject of Islam and science. This article first places the book in context (academic and cultural); in particular, an update is given on the two strong current trends of I'jaz, the “miraculous scientific content in the Qur’an” and Muslim creationism, and a note is made of the “Arab Spring” and its potential effect on science in the Arab-Muslim world. The second part (...) is devoted to a discussion of the views presented by the four reviewers (Brooke, Hameed, Dajani, and Bagir): my “theistic science” approach, the similarities and contrasts between Christian and Islamic approaches to the scientific exploration of the world, the importance of relating religion and science in practice, not just in theory, the need for a theology of nature versus natural theology in Islam, and so on. The article concludes with an outlook on the issues that still need to be addressed in the field of Islam and Science. (shrink)
Abstract Despite various criticisms, Ian Barbour's fourfold classification of the possible relationships between religion and science remains influential. I compare Barbour's taxonomy with the theories of four authors who, in the last four decades, have addressed the relationship between science and religion from a Muslim perspective. The aim of my analysis is twofold. First, I offer a comparative perspective to the debate on science and Islam. Second, following Barbour's suggestion, I test the general applicability of his (...) categories by comparing them with a discourse on science and religion that is not focused on Christianity. In the first section, I reconstruct Barbour's typologies, recalling some major objections to them, and arguing why despite the latter, Barbour's model is employed for the present analysis. I also reconstruct Barbour's parallel model for the relationships between different religions. In the second section, I reconstruct the discourse on science and religion developed by the Palestinian-American scholar Ismail Raji al-Faruqi. The third section is devoted to the ideas of the Persian-American scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. In the fourth section, I examine the views of the Iranian author Mehdi Golshani. The fifth section reconstructs the theories of the Algerian author Nidhal Guessoum. In the final section, I argue that a generalized use of the “integration” concept to refer to the entire debate on Islam and science is unhelpful. While these positions do not appear to instantiate Barbourian integration of science and religion, they do move toward what Barbour (skeptically) describes as integration between religions. (shrink)
The complex relations between Islam and modern science have so far mostly been examined by thinkers at the conceptual level. The wider interaction of religious scholars and preachers with the general public on science issues is an unexplored area that is worthy of examination, for it often is characterized by a literalistic approach. I first briefly review literalism in its various forms. The classical Islamic jurisprudential school of Zahirism, widely regarded as bearing the flag of juristic literalism, (...) is also briefly presented. I then address specific science-related issues currently being discussed in literalistic ways by many religious scholars and preachers in their general-public discourse. I focus on the practical case of the determination of crescent-based Islamic months and holy occasions, the conceptual issue of evolution (biological and human), and the rule for the consumption of meat by slaughter of animals. In the last part of the essay I propose a constructive alternative to the literalistic mode: the Maqasidi (objectives-based) approach. This rather old method has seen some revival lately, mainly among Islamic jurists concerned with solving the new issues of modern times, especially for Muslims living in the West, but this approach has not yet been applied to science-related issues. I present the main ideas of this method and show their relevance and usefulness to science-related topics. (shrink)
AbstractIslam's Quantum Question by Nidhal Guessoum offers a sophisticated approach to reconciling the results of modern science with Islamic tradition. The book provides a valuable critique of existing literature on Islam and science and advocates the promotion of good science and science education in the Muslim world. A central tension in the book revolves around Guessoum's efforts to promote a version of theistic science, while at the same establishing a clear boundary for science (...) and scientific methodology. Although the latter works very well, the project of theistic science presented in the book is, at the very least, contentious. However, Islam's Quantum Question is a milestone in the literature on Islam and science and should be valuable for anyone interested in the search for meaning in both science and religion. (shrink)
Biography of Ibn Rushd ... Averroes, old heathen, If only you had been right, if Intellect Itself were absolute law, sufficient grace. Our lives could be a myth of captivity. Which we might enter: an unpeopled region.
The Arab Spring of 2011 has highlighted an unprecedent fact in the region: it was the young and educated population who established the spearheading of change, and led their countries to democracy. In this paper, we try to analyze how science has been a key factor in these moves, in Tunisia as well as in Egypt, and how it can help to anchor democracy in these countries.
This collection of essays covers the classical heritage and Islamic culture, classical Arabic science and philosophy, and Muslim religious sciences, showing continuation of Greek and Persian thought as well as original Muslim contributions ...
On se souvient peut-être de la parution au début de l’année 2008 du livre de Sylvain Gougenheim, Aristote au Mont Saint-Michel – Les racines grecques de l’Europe chrétienne (Le Seuil, Paris, 2008), des recensions laudatives dont cet ouvrage fit l’objet dans de grands quotidiens (le Monde, le Figaro), et de la polémique qui s’ensuivit. Cette polémique et l’ouvrage qui l’a suscitée semblent aujourd’hui déjà oubliés, les projecteurs de l’actualité, comme on dit, s’étant braqués sur d’autres obje..
This book brings together the ideas of a number of contemporary modernist and liberal Muslim thinkers, exposing an important intellectual current in Islamic thought which will be new to many Western readers. Responding to the challenges brought by colonialism and modernization, the contributors propose new conceptions and interpretations of Islam consonant with the age. Although their specific concerns and emphases vary, they all reconsider the relation between religion and politics and the incorporation of modern Western ideas.
During the 1990s, biomedical scientists and Muslim religious scholars collaborated to construe Islamic responses for the ethical questions raised by the AIDS pandemic. This is the first of a two-part study examining this collective legal reasoning (ijtihād jamā‘ī). The main thesis is that the role of the biomedical scientists is not limited to presenting scientific information. They engaged in the human rights discourse pertinent to people living with HIV/AIDS, gave an account of the preventive strategy adopted by the World Health (...) Organization, and offered an (Islamic) virtue-based preventive model. Finally, these scientists tried to draft a number of Islamic legal rulings (aḥkām), usually seen in Islamic jurisprudence as the exclusive business of Muslim religious scholars. This multilayered role played by the scientists reflects intriguing developments in the Islamic religio-ethical discourse in general and in the field of Islamic jurisprudence in particular. (shrink)
Islamic bioethics is in good health, this article argues. During the twentieth century, academic researchers had to deal with a number of difficulties including the scarcity of available Islamic sources. However, the twenty-first century witnessed significant breakthroughs in the field of Islamic bioethics. A growing number of normative works authored by Muslim religious scholars and studies conducted by academic researchers have been published. This nascent field also proved to be appealing for research-funding institutions in the Muslim world and also in (...) the West, such as the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). On the other hand, the article argues that contemporary Islamic bioethics is in need of addressing news issues and adopting new approaches for the sake of maintaining and improving this good health in the future. (shrink)
v. 1. Methodological issues and themes in the Koran -- v. 2. The nature of monotheism in Koranic thought -- v. 3. Circular causation model in the Koran -- v. 4. Monotheism applied to social issues in the Koran -- v. 5. The Koranic principle of complementarities applied to social and scientific themes.
The field of medicine provides an important window through which to examine the encounters between religion and science, and between modernity and tradition. While both religion and science consider health to be a ‘good’ that is to be preserved, and promoted, religious and science-based teachings may differ in their conception of what constitutes good health, and how that health is to be achieved. This paper analyzes the way the Islamic ethico-legal tradition assesses the permissibility of using vaccines (...) that contain porcine-derived components by referencing opinions of several Islamic authorities. In the Islamic ethico-legal tradition controversy surrounds the use of proteins from an animal (pig) that is considered to be impure by Islamic law. As we discuss the Islamic ethico-legal constructs used to argue for or against the use of porcine-based vaccines we will call attention to areas where modern medical data may make the arguments more precise. By highlighting areas where science can buttress and clarify the ethico-legal arguments we hope to spur an enhanced applied Islamic bioethics discourse where religious scholars and medical experts use modern science in a way that remains faithful to the epistemology of Islamic ethics to clarify what Islam requires of Muslim patients and healthcare workers. (shrink)
Abstract. In January 1985, about 80 Muslim religious scholars and biomedical scientists gathered in a symposium held in Kuwait to discuss the broad question “When does human life begin?” This article argues that this symposium is one of the milestones in the field of contemporary Islamic bioethics and independent legal reasoning (Ijtihād). The proceedings of the symposium, however, escaped the attention of academic researchers. This article is meant to fill in this research lacuna by analyzing the proceedings of this symposium, (...) the relevant subsequent developments, and finally the interplay of Islam and the West as a significant dimension in these discussions. (shrink)
Section 1. Introduction. The prophet of non-violence -- section 2. Women in Islam. Women in the light of hadith -- Violence against women and religion -- section 3. War and peace in Islam. Theory of war and peace in Islam -- Centrality of jihad in post Qurʼanic period -- Jihad? But what about other verses in the Qurʼan? -- Islam, democracy and violence -- A critical look at Qurʼanic verses on war and violence -- section 4. (...) Justice and compassion in Islam. Concept of justice in Islam -- Love in Sufi poetry: Maulana Rum, the poet of love -- Compassion in Islam: theology and history -- Islam and compassion: scriptural, historical and contemporary perspective -- section 5. Social issues. Science, West and Islamic origin of science -- Opening chapter of the Qurʼan and its ecological interpretation -- Islam and contemporary issues -- Religion or secularism? -- Modernity, discontent and religion -- Hindu-Muslim unity through religion? -- Religion and conflict. (shrink)
Medieval Muslim scholars were challenged with squaring their conceptions of prophetic infallibility with reports that Muhammad disobeyed revelatory commands from God. The manner in which they rehabilitated the prophetic image in these cases had corresponding repercussions in the fields of jurisprudence, theology, and legal theory. The present article uses the case of Q. 8:67 to demonstrate the intertwined nature of the Islamic sciences and the stakes involved when delimiting the prophetic ability to err and/or disobey God.
It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological (...) theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philoso- phers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom. (shrink)