Biannual conferences on Philosophy, Science & Religion
Biannual conferences on PSR – FEIISP intends to carry out two big conferences annually in June and December for the wider Muslim community. Topics will vary each year but will include discussions on evolution, quantum mechanics, Islamic theology and atheism. FEIISP will also carry out conferences that are more relevant on the practical level. This includes topics like medical phenomena and Islamic jurisprudence. The motivation for holding such events is to gather Muslim thinkers (scientists, theologians and philosophers) and the wider public to acknowledge and discuss the possible challenges and solutions which contemporary science, technology and philosophy is raising. As a case in point, and in addition to the three conferences mentioned in the executive summary, FEIISP will be holding two more conferences in 2019. One will be on evolution and Islamic hermeneutics which will be taking place in July and the second one will be on modern medical developments pertinent to Islamic jurisprudence which will be held in December. The deliverables from these conferences will include full-length recordings of the event which will be made available on YouTube, bite-size clips, short summaries of the talks made in the form of articles, and simplified educational materials (in the form of presentation slides, worksheets or notes) of the talks targeted to the students attending the FE weekend school. These materials will accumulate as part of the FEIISP repository and made available online (for free) so as to make the conferences relevant and accessible for every level of the wider community. In the long run it is hoped that this repository provides ready-made materials for other seminaries and weekend Islamic schools interested in implementing PSR-related courses.
Online Courses on Philosophy, Science & Religion
Online Courses on PSR – In addition to holding conferences, FEIISP wants to play a strong role in pedagogy of PSR related modules. Courses will be designed that takes the Islamic tradition seriously and integrates it within the contemporary world, particularly in line with the discourses within the purview of PSR. By way of demonstration, in the past FEIISP has held two online courses, which include Introduction to Philosophy of Science and Religion and a Philosophy of Religion course. This is to be followed by two further courses on Imam Ghazali’s Incoherence of the Philosophers (analytical theology) and New Atheism and Islam in 2019. The plan for the future is to create a whole series of courses on PSR and Islamic analytical theology starting from introductory level courses to more advanced level seminars and projects.
The motivation for holding such events is to gather Muslim thinkers (scientists, theologians and philosophers) and the wider public to acknowledge and discuss the possible challenges and solutions which contemporary science, technology and philosophy is raising
Regional Seminary Outreach and Training on Philosophy, Science & Religion
Regional Seminary Outreach and Training on PSR – As indicated in the executive summary, FEIISP has started making a local impact with nearby institutions. However, FEIISP understands the importance of making courses on PSR as an integral part of the seminary curriculum. This is both an opportunity and a challenge. It is an opportunity because currently only a few organisations are trying to relay the importance of such subjects to the wider Muslim community. These include Cambridge Muslim College, Al Salam Institute and Ebrahim College. However, these institutions face the problem of brick and mortar. They have a central location which requires students to come to their location for training and or learning. The FEIISP is different in this respect. FEIISP’s teachers and lecturers will be sent to seminaries who are interested in PSR courses making the whole teaching process easier and customisable according to the needs of each seminary. This will involve teaching the students and potentially training the teachers so that they can remain independent of FEIISP when continuing with the courses. The goal is to make the courses accessible without long term reliance so that PSR becomes an accessible discourse in seminaries. It is a challenge because, still, some seminaries don’t feel that such courses are necessary or haven’t heard about the PSR discourse. So alongside teaching and training PSR courses for interested seminaries, this also requires fostering connections and developing a network so as to encourage uninterested seminaries towards integrating PSR into their curriculum. FEIISP intends to work on both aspects with the requested funds. The intention is to focus on one region (north, central and south in the UK) for each year.
Documentaries on Philosophy, Science & Religion in the Muslim World
Documentaries on PSR in the Muslim World – FEIISP wants to further enhance its outreach by producing three documentaries on relevant topics, one for every year. Accordingly, each year of the three-year project plan will focus on a certain theme which will be captured by a relevant documentary. These documentaries will incorporate clips from conferences and interviews with selected individuals, regardless of whether they are part of FEIISP team or not, that are designed to invite viewers to understand the complexities and the debates within the field of PSR in the Muslim world. This project will be handled by the FEIISP media team.
FEIISP understands the importance of making courses on PSR as an integral part of the seminary curriculum
FATIMA ELIZABETH Institute of Islam, Science & Philosophy