RGS Scholar Series
A PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH TO RELIGION
with Dr. Adnan Aslan
September 15 – November 17, 2020
We are living in a social context created by the globalization process and the adherents of other faiths are our neighbors. Almost all religions, including Islam, require a contemplative religious life based on reasoning (al-eman al-tahqiqi), but to understand them urges us to understand their religion and culture. A philosophical and rational analysis of all religious phenomena can be a useful tool to deepen our understanding of our own religion as well as our neighbor’s.
In this course, we will examine the issue of diversity of religions in the context of religious exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism, as well as a variety of arguments from throughout the world regarding the existence of God, including the cosmological argument and the arguments provided by science, such as the “intelligent design” and the “fine-tuning” arguments.
In addition to this we will discuss the problem of evil, justification of religious belief, the issue of science and religion. We will examine these issues relying on Chad Meister’s Introducing Philosophy of Religion. All of these philosophical issues will be related to real-life experience, in which philosophical concepts and discussions will be presented, not outmoded elements, but working, life-guiding principles. Emphasis will be placed on attentive reading and discussion of the important points underlined in class discussions and an in-depth understanding and evaluation of philosophical problems.
Who is Professor Dr. Adnan Aslan?
He was born in Turkey, educated in Turkey and England. Received MA degree at Kings College London in 1990 and PhD degree at Lancaster University in England in 1995. He has published scholarly articles and books both in English and Turkish. His main interest includes the issue of religious pluralism, inter-religious dialogue, İslam and modernity and perennial philosophy. He worked in various universities in Turkey. He was the dean of faculty of humanities and social sciences at Süleyman Şah University in Istanbul. He was an adjunct professor at the department of philosophy at Notre Dame University and a faculty associate at Indiana University of South Bend.
Tentative Schedule of the Course:
1st Week: Introduction to the Course and to a Philosophy for Religious Life.
2nd Week: Religion and Religions: Exclusivism, Inclusivism and Pluralism.
3rd Week: Arguments from the World to God: Cosmological Arguments.
4th Week: Arguments from the Science: Intelligent Design and Fine-Tuning Argument.
5th Week: The Problem of Evil.
6th Week: Justification of Religious Belief.
7th Week: Science and Religion.
8th Week: Religious Experience.
9th Week: Religion and Relativism.
10th Week: Immortality
A PHILOSOPHICAL APROACH TO RELIGION
Date: September 15 – November 17, 2020 (10 weeks!)