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Call for Papers – Islam and Evolution

The Leiden University Shii Studies Initiative (LUSSI) is hosting a two-day online conference on Islam and Evolution.

Organisers: Leiden University

Conference Date: July 5 & 6, 2021

Abstract Deadline: April 15, 2021

The discourse of Islam’s relation to evolution has been steadily developing over the past few decades. Still, the field is lacking sufficient academic maturity. There are critical intradisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary perspectives that need attention in this complex conversation. To help fill this lacuna, this online conference aims to widen the number of Islamic perspectives on the matter, and further the resolution on issues that stimulate Muslim thinkers with evolution. The following are the themes of interest for this conference. The conference will address key themes in Science and Religion, Evolutionary Biology, and Islamic theology and philosophy. Suggested topics include:

•    Different Islamic perspectives on evolution:
o    Avicennism
o    Twelver Shii
o    Ismaili
o    Ash’arism
o    Maturidism
o    Atharism
o    Sufi
o    Modern

•    Metaphysical concerns related to evolution:
o    Chance and teleology
o    Chance and design
o    Naturalism
o    God’s wisdom in light of evolution 
o    Problem of animal suffering
o    Human uniqueness
o    Scientific realism and evolution

•    Hermeneutic questions related to evolution:
o    Does the Qur’an allow evolutionary readings?
o    Is the hadith corpus compatible with evolution?
o    What are the hermeneutic challenges/opportunities with evolution and Islamic scripture?
o    Are there hermeneutic differences between thinkers/schools of thought that impact evolutionary/creationist readings?

•    Historical inquiries related to evolution:
o    Did any thinker/group discuss Adam/Eve having parents prior to Darwin’s theory?
o    Are there any discussions in the Islamic intellectual heritage that discussed the idea of pre/co-Adamic beings, humans, pseudo-humans or otherwise?
o    Was Darwin in communication with any Muslim thinkers? If so, how did that exchange look like and did it lead to any impacts in the Muslim world?

Selected participants might be asked to send in full articles which will be published either as an article in a special volume of a journal, or as a book chapter in a collected volume. 

For consideration of your proposal, please send a 300-word abstract in English to lussi@hum.leidenuniv.nl along with your full name, current association, and rank by April 15, 2021. The language of the conference will be in English. 

If you have any questions, please email Arnold Yasin Mol at a.j.w.mol@hum.leidenuniv.nl or Shoaib Ahmed Malik at shoaib.malik@zu.ac.ae

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