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Research seminars

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion Research Seminars are held at 1.00 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays in the Garden Room, Library Building, St. Edmundís College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.

The Garden Room is on the ground floor of the Library Building which is located in the far left-hand corner as you enter the College grounds. The free buffet lunch is served there.

Michaelmas term

Kalam Philosophy, Islam and Science

Dr Bruno Guiderdoni

Tuesday November 20, 2018

Garden Room, Library Building
St Edmund's College
Mount Pleasant


Within the long history of Islamic thinking, Kalam represents an attempt to articulate the data of the Koranic revelation with the pursuit of rational inquiry. Albeit its golden period ended centuries ago, and its focus appears narrower than the one of Christian theology for instance, it nevertheless addresses many issues that are still of interest for defining the interface between faith and reason, or religion and science, today. After a brief presentation of the history and stakes of Kalam, I will focus on a specific debate that took place between the 10th and the 12th centuries, about God’s power on creation, and that dealt with issues such as the temporal origination of the world, contingency and necessity, causality and atomism. I will conclude by arguing that, although this debate developed in a scientific context that was radically different from the one we live in now, it is still relevant for today, especially at a time when contemporary cosmology deals with the apparent fine-tuning of cosmological properties, and the possibility of the multiverse.

Further information about the Speakers may be obtained by clicking on the speaker's name above.