An illusion of harmony: science and religion in Islam by Taner Edis

By Taner Edis

Present discussions within the West at the relation of technological know-how and faith concentration frequently on science's uneasy dating with the conventional Judeo-Christian view of existence. yet a parallel controversy exists within the Muslim global concerning how you can combine technology with Islam. As physicist Taner Edis indicates during this interesting glimpse into modern Muslim tradition, a great deal of renowned writing in Muslim societies makes an attempt to handle such puzzling questions as: Is Islam a "scientific religion"? have been the discoveries of contemporary technology foreshadowed within the Quran? Are clever layout conjectures extra beautiful to the Muslim point of view than Darwinian reasons? Edis examines the diversity of Muslim puzzling over technology and Islam, from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to relatively refined efforts to "Islamize science". From the world's most powerful creationist routine to weird and wonderful science-in-the-Quran apologetics, well known Muslim techniques advertise a view of traditional technological know-how as an insignificant fact-collecting job that coexists in near-perfect concord with literal-minded religion. because Muslims are keenly acutely aware that technology and expertise were the keys to Western luck, they're desirous to harness know-how to accomplish a Muslim model of modernity. but even as, they're reluctant to permit technology to develop into autonomous of faith and are suspicious of Western secularisation. Edis examines all of those conflicting developments, revealing the problems dealing with Muslim societies attempting to adapt to the fashionable technological international. His discussions of either the parallels and the variations among Western and Muslim makes an attempt to harmonise technology and faith make for a different and interesting contribution to this carrying on with debate.

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Php/content/view/921/56/ (accessed December 2, 2006). Some versions I have found attribute this article to Said Nursi, founder of the movement of which Gülen leads a branch. 14 Pervez Hoodbhoy, Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality (London: Zed Books, 1991), pp. 142-47. 15 Erdal İnönü, Üçyüz Yıllık Gecikme: Tarih, Kültür, Bilim ve Siyaset Üzerine Konuşmalar (İstanbul, Turkey: Büke Yayınları, 2002), pp. 112-14. 16 Kaynar and Parlak, Her İle Bir Üniversite. 17 Lawrence Rosen, The Culture of Islam: Changing Aspects of Contemporary Muslim Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), p.

So, today both violent jihadis and peaceful Muslims lay claim to the true understanding of the duty of jihad. Both draw on legitimate strands of Muslim doctrine and tradition that are available to them; both reinterpret and remake their religion to adapt to their circumstances. The ulama (traditional Muslim scholars) try to give authoritative interpretations, but they commonly disagree and even resort to calling rivals un-Islamic. This is nothing new—it is part of the way Islam has always worked, even in periods of relative stability.

My interest in science was nourished by my numerous encyclopedias and children’s science books, not by any sacred literature. We lived in a westernized area of the secular Republic of Turkey, and the public schools were not heavy-handed about Islam. It was understood that about 99 percent of Turkish citizens were Muslims, whether observant or not, but religion rarely intruded into classrooms. The echoes of Islam that we heard usually served the worldly purpose of trying to modernize Turkey. I constantly got the impression that Islam (or at least the Islam the authorities wanted) was supposed to be a rational religion, with no theological obscurantism.

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