ISLAM & SCIENCE
I have long had an interest in the questions at the interface between science and religion in general, and science and Islam in particular. Such issues can be divided into three subfields: a) the historical relation between Science and Islam, including the extent to which Muslim scientists helped usher in the European Renaissance; b) the practical problems of Islamic life where Science plays an important role, for instance the determination of the start of holy months and occasions (Ramadan, Eids, Hajj) and the determination of prayer and fasting times at high-latitude locations; c) the conceptual questions that Modern Science raises vis-à-vis the Islamic worldview (naturalism vs. occasionalism, divine action in the world, the question of miracles, etc.).
I have in recent years made scholarly contributions in all three areas.
First, the book I co-authored with J. Mimouni on the “Story of the Universe” featured chapters on humanity’s old historical, cultural, and religious views of the cosmos. Secondly, I have often lectured on the historical and philosophical nature of the relation between science (in its ancient and modern versions) and Islam. Thirdly, and most importantly, in recent years, that interest has been molded into serious endeavors: taking part in the Paris-based “Science and Religion in Islam” project, publishing scholarly papers and most recently a book, participating in international conferences (the “Science, Cultures and the Future of Humanity” in Doha, Qatar in May-June 2008, the “Muslim-Christian Dialogue on Issues in Science & Religion” organized at the Ian Ramsey Center at Oxford University in June 2006, etc.). Lastly, I have also published a number of book reviews and articles in this realm.
Selected Science and Religion Publications:
- “I`jaz `Ilmiy : la ‘miraculosité scientifique’ du Coran”, Oumma.com, November 2008, Part 1 & Part 2.
- “The Qur’an, Science, and the (related) Contemporary Muslim Discourse”, Zygon, Vol. 43, No. 2. (June 2008), pp. 411-431.
- “Progress in Solving the Problem of the Crescent-based Islamic Calendar”, Proc. of 1st Emirates (International) Astronomical Conference, eds. N. Guessoum & M. Odeh, pp. 77-86, 2007.
- “Émergence : Le nouveau paradigme est-il doté d’une connotation philosophique ? Un commentaire du livre ‘A Different Universe’ de Robert B. Laughlin”, PhiloScience, 2007.
- “L’Univers a-t-il été créé pour l’homme ? Les réponses de la science moderne et de l’Islam”, http://www.oumma.com/spip.php?article2146 , September 2006.
- “Science and Religion in Dan Brown’s ‘Angels and Demons’”,http://www.science-islam.net/ article.php3?id_article=632&lang=en.
- “A Century of Religion-Science-Philosophy Debates”, Review of Larry Witham’s ‘The Measure of God’, 2005, http://www.science-islam.net/article.php3?id_article=583&lang=en .
- “La cosmologie islamique peut-elle être moderne?” (with K. Meziane), Etudes Orientales, vol. 23/24, 2005, p. 145.
- “Fine-Tuning, Principe Anthropique et Multivers: Perspectives Islamiques sur une Question Controversée”, Etudes Orientales, vol. 23/24, 2005, p. 126.