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 in general on science's uneasy dating with the conventional Judeo-Christian view of lifestyles. yet a parallel controversy exists within the Muslim international concerning how one 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 difficult questions as: Is Islam a "scientific religion"? have been the discoveries of contemporary technological know-how foreshadowed within the Quran? Are clever layout conjectures extra beautiful to the Muslim standpoint than Darwinian factors? Edis examines the variety of Muslim pondering technological know-how and Islam, from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to relatively subtle efforts to "Islamize science". From the world's most powerful creationist activities to weird and wonderful science-in-the-Quran apologetics, renowned Muslim ways advertise a view of common technology as a trifling fact-collecting task that coexists in near-perfect concord with literal-minded religion. due to the fact that Muslims are keenly acutely aware that technological know-how and expertise were the keys to Western luck, they're desirous to harness know-how to accomplish a Muslim model of modernity. but while, they're reluctant to permit technological know-how to turn into autonomous of faith and are suspicious of Western secularisation. Edis examines all of those conflicting tendencies, revealing the problems dealing with Muslim societies attempting to adapt to the trendy 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 distinct and exciting contribution to this carrying on with debate.

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Extra resources for An illusion of harmony: science and religion in Islam

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And I could never see much reason behind the idea of a God. Still, although it was obvious from early on that I was to remain an incorrigible skeptic, some of the constant insistence that Islam was a uniquely rational religion must have had an effect. I entered my college years convinced that Islam had lagged behind when compared to the political and scientific progress derived from the European Enlightenment. But even as I hoped Islam would progress to become just a cultural coloration fading into the background of a fully modern Turkey, I also thought it was somehow more reasonable than other religions.

Muslims had a particular advantage in matters of knowledge and scholarship. Christianity had taken over the Roman Empire, but as the empire disintegrated, Western Christendom’s institutional structure for education and scholarship had also collapsed outside of the monasteries. Western Europe lost most of its knowledge of the philosophy and science of pagan antiquity. Islam, in contrast, made better use of pagan intellectual resources when it formed its own empire. Muslim elites appropriated knowledge from different sources, from Greek philosophy to Indian mathematics.

Modern science has become entirely independent of spiritual beliefs, describing the world in purely naturalistic terms, and this makes devout Muslims suspicious. As with jihad, we must ask what views of science are available to Muslims, what views seem strongest, and what common themes might exist in a diversity of interpretations. What we find is not a single Muslim position but a complicated landscape of interlocking and clashing views concerning science and reason. I hope to explore some of this landscape, and ask to what extent Muslims will seek knowledge, even if it disturbs their faith.

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