Respect Graduate School

Risale-i Nur Academy

Course date: October 9 – November 28, 2021

Nursi had high expectations for the 21st century. He foresaw the emergence of the information society and the era of communication. He believed science and communicative eloquence would reign supreme in the 21st century and this would eliminate the obstacles in front of a better understanding the message of Qur’an and the global outreach of that message. Risale-i Nur Academy is a response, from within the information society and the era of communication, to that optimism and hope. It is an attempt to marry science and religion, to read the Book of Universe through the prism of the monotheistic principles of the Holy Qur’an, and to excel in demonstration and argumentation as means of promoting such a holistic reading.

In the Risale-i Nur Academy program, eight courses are planned to be given in four seasons in one year. The two-hour classes, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, will continue for eight weeks. Registrations will be made for two courses that will be given each semester. Course materials and assessment and evaluation criteria will be notified to the participants by the course instructors before the classes begin. Course contents and times are available on our website. At the end of the program, participants will be presented with a certificate of participation.

Objectives of Course

Discussing fundamental issues of men from the point of Risale-i Nur

Finding answers of existential problems according to Risale-i Nur

Maintaining the perspective of Risale-i Nur as a mind set to respond contemporary questions

Building an intellectual network among Risale-i Nur readers and writers

Learning and testing outcomes of Risale-i Nur teaching

Faculty

Dr. Hakan Gok

Risale-i Nur Academy

Said Nursi’s Arguments
for the Existence of God in Risale-i Nur

Course Time: Saturday 11 AM – 1 PM (EST)

Dr. Omer Kuru

Risale-i Nur Academy

Contemporary Sufism: The Relation between Self and Ego
from Nursian Perspective

Course Time: Sunday 11 AM – 1 PM (EST)

Dr. Adnan Aslan

Risale-i Nur Academy

A religious interpretation of the universe:
From the perspective of Risale-i Nur

Course Time: Winter Quarter

Dr. Zuleyha Colak

Risale-i Nur Academy

Approaching Quranic Stories from the perspective of Risale-i Nur: Prayer-Story of Jonah, Sickness-Story of Job, Story of Joseph

Course Time: Winter Quarter

Kerim Balci

Risale-i Nur Academy

Visionary Projects of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

Course Time: Spring Quarter

Dr. Masheed Ensari

Risale-i Nur Academy

Nubuvva / Prophethood

Course Time: Spring Quarter

Student Learning Outcomes

Encouraging students to write a summary of the discussion before and/or after each class

Interactive and motivating discussion sections for the students

A positive and constructive attitude to help students to be motivational and have creative engagement with the class

To improve writing skills

Required Readings, Textbook or Materials

– Use of graphics audio-visual materials such as prezi, ppt, etc.

– Providing sources or links to the sources of the content benefited.

– Allowing the use of other sources on the topic covered

– One or two short Essays (6-8 pages) writing recommended for the students on the topics they choose with the consultation with the Professor and get a grade through participation, and essays

Program Content

Said Nursi's Arguments for the Existence of God in Risale-i Nur

by Dr. Hakan Gok

Course Abstract

This subject explores the arguments for and against the existence of God with Nursi in focus. It starts with the Ancient Greek philosophy to understand how the argument started in post Judaic world. It moves into middle ages with Western and Islamic tradition. It also looks at the modern times.
The course explores how Nursi argued for the existence of God and how he tackled the atheistic proposals

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
* be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the philosophical arguments for the existence of God.
* be able to analyse critically arguments for and against the existence of God.
* be able to discuss critically different philosophical views.
* be able to demonstrate independent research, organisation, written and oral communication skills through the presentation of a substantial work.

Prescribed Text

There is no prescribed text. However, there are weekly readings, and Power Point presentations which will be made available throughout the course.

Weekly Schedule

Week 1: God Question: The Background
Week 2: Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
Week 3: Teleological (Design) Argument
Week 4: Moral Argument
Week 5: Divine Revelation
Week 6: Argument from Religious Experience
Week 7: Suffering, good and evil
Week 8: Atheism vs Theism. The clash

Contemporary Sufism: The Relation between Self and Ego from Nursian Perspective

by Dr. Omer Kuru

Course Abstract

This subject elaborates the concept of self nafs in relation to the Divine Concept marifah from the time of Ancient Greek Philosophy to the modern time. Although, in the Islamic tradition, Classical Muslim Scholars adopting Qur’anic terminology only and Muslim Philosophers following Aristotelian terminology. Nursi employs both terminologies to obtain the ultimate frame of the concept of Self nafs in respect to Divine Concept.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
* be able to penetrate the Qur’an and Islamic texts and analyse the concept of the Self nafs in relation to Divine knowledge marifah systematically.
* be able to be critical while reading Islamic texts.
* be able to discuss critically different views.
* be able to demonstrate independent research, organisation, written and oral communication skills through the presentation of a substantial work.

Prescribed Text

There is no prescribed text. However, there are weekly readings, and Power Point presentations which will be made available throughout the course.

Weekly Schedule

Week 1: What is Self nafs?
Week 2: The Self in Philosophy: Aristotelian categorisation; Vegetative Soul, Animal Soul and Human Soul.
Week 3: The Self nafs in the Qur’an: The Evil Commanding oul nafs al-ammarah, Self-critical Soul nafs al-lawwamah and Tranquil Self nafs al-mutmainnah.
Week 4: Two essential concepts to understand Nursian approach to the self nafs:
1- The self-referential meaning
2- The other-indicative meaning
(12th Word)
Week 5: Nursian approach to the concept of Self nafs 1
(6th Word, Signs of Miraculousness: exegesis of Surah Al- Fatiha)
Week 6: Nursian approach to the concept of Self nafs 2
Nursi combines the philosophical terminology and the Qur’anic terminology into one formula
Week 7: Purification of the Self Nafs in Nursi
Week 8: Conclusion

Do you have interest for Risale-i Nur courses in Turkish?

Emine Eroglu, Seyid Erkal, Kerim Balci, Dr. Hakan Gok and more.

Enroll Now

You may make the payment in instalments with a credit card.

Risale-i Nur Academy

$100

Per course

Total: $200

Total min. 16h
Virtual Classroom Support
Certification of Attendance

Do you have a question? Contact us: info@respectgs.us

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About Instructors

Dr. Hakan Gok

Dr Hakan Gök is a Research Fellow at the Center for Governance, Leadership and Global Responsibility at Leeds Beckett University. Hakan obtained his Masters and PhD in the UK. He studied atheism and theism focusing on the philosophy of Saïd Nursi, earning his PhD degree from Durham University. Hakan’s research interests are: the problem of evil and suffering, arguments for and against the existence of God, atheist philosophy, life and discourse of Ghazzālī, Rūmī and Sirhindī. His papers are: ‘Multiculturalism in Turkey: Possible solutions to the Kurdish issue from The Risāle-i Nur’, ‘Is peaceful co-existence possible? Case of Mawlānā Jalāluddīn Rūmī’, A Comparison between Ahmad Sirhindī and Saïd Nursi’ and ‘Albert Camus and Saïd Nursi on the problem of evil.’
Hakan is currently living in Leeds. He is the author of ‘Atheism or Theism: The Perspective of Saïd Nursi, editor of ‘Selected Readings from The Risale-i Nur’, co-editor of ‘India-Turkey: History, Culture and Politics’, and Essential Rumi Stories books.

Dr. Omer Kuru

Dr Omer Kuru is a Research Fellow at the Theology Department in Aberdeen University. He studied the concept of Self Nafs and “I” (Ego) Ana in relation to Divine Knowledge Marifah focusing on the perspective of Saïd Nursi, earning his PhD degree from Durham University. Omer’s research interests are: Contemporary Sufism, Sufism and Politics, Methods of Science: Qur’anic approach and Materialism, Theism and Atheism, life and discourse of Ghazzālī, Ibn Arabī, Rūmī and Sirhindī. His papers are: ‘The concept of Self Nafs in Saïd Nursi, ‘Sufism and Politics in Modern World’
Omer is currently living in Aberdeen in Scotland. He is the author of ‘The concept of Self Nafs and “I” (Ego) Ana in relation to Divine Knowledge Marifah in Saïd Nursi’

Dr. Adnan Aslan

He 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.

Dr. Mahsheed Ansari

She is lecturer in Islam and Contemporary Islamic Studies and the Higher Degrees Research Coordinator at the Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation, Charles Sturt University. Her research interests include the history of Islamic thought, spirituality and culture. She is also a historian interested in the formation and development of minority communities in Australia. She is currently working on the Muslim heritage research project at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University.

Dr. Zuleyha Colak

She is a Senior Lecturer and coordinator of Turkish and Ottoman Language program at Middle Eastern Studies department at Columbia University. Previously she taught at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis in Global Studies department between 2005-2010. She received her B. A. in Arabic Language and Literature from Istanbul University, Turkey (1998). She holds two masters’ degrees, one in comparative literature in Arabic Literature in Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey (2000), and one in Central Eurasian Studies/Ottoman and Modern Turkish studies at Indiana University (2003). Her Ph. D dissertation is on the portrayal of Women of Biblical and Quranic Joseph Story from Indiana University in 2010. She has been a board member at Respect Graduate school in Bethlehem, PA and voluntarily teaching courses on Islam. Some courses are Islam 101, Who is Muhammad? and recently a graduate course on Essentials of Islamic Spirituality.

Kerim Balci

He is a Turkish writer, journalist, academic and human rights activist. He is recently the Chief Advisor of London Based Human Rights Solidarity and works as a communication officer at London Advocacy, a litigation based human rights advocacy firm. Balci served as the editor in chief of Turkish Review, and as a columnist at Today’s Zaman and Zaman dailies before these publications were shuttered by the Turkish government. Balci studied his BA in Physics and Political Science at Bogazici University of Turkey, his MA in Islam and Modern Middle East at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his PhD on linguistics at Durham University of the UK. He is currently an LLM student at Leeds Law School of the UK. He lectures at the Respect Graduate School on topics like Islamic logic, epistemology and hermeneutics.

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