Archives For Stefano Bigliardi

Author Information: Francesco Piraino, Scuola Normale Superiore, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, francesco.piraino@sns.it

Piraino, Francesco. “Bruno Guiderdoni—Among Sufism, Traditionalism and Science: A Reply to Bigliardi.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 11 (2014): 21-24.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1H5

Please refer to:

SunsetImage Credit: sammsky via flickr

I have met Bruno Guiderdoni in the context of my research about the development of European Sufism. Guiderdoni is not only a famous astrophysicist, but also the French khalifa (local leader) of the Italian Sufi order Ahmadhyya Idrsishiyya Shadiliyya led by Abdel Wahid Pallavicini and Yahya Pallavicini.

Guiderdoni is certainly the most important “Sufi” scientist I have encountered in my research, but he is not the only one. On the contrary, among European Sufi disciples, there are many scientists, engineers, doctors, etc. who do not feel any opposition between science and religion but, of course, they elaborate the relation between science and religion with different solutions. The relation between Sufism and science will certainly be investigated further, overpassing both the modern stereotype of an irrational and obscure mysticism (e.g. King 1999; Christmann 2008) and the New Age “quantum mysticism”. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Damian Howard S.J., Heythrop College, University of London, d.howard@heythrop.ac.uk

Howard, Damian. “Some Reflections on Stefano Bigliardi’s ‘On Harmonizing Islam and Science’” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 10 (2014): 50-52.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1Fl

Please refer to:

2178548324_d7329af6a8_z Image Credit: Maarten, via flickr

I enjoyed this paper and found it immensely stimulating and suggestive. It’s also nice to read a scholar who is humble and sees his work as part of a journey of exploration and a mediation for others! Continue Reading…

Author Information: Stefano Bigliardi, Tec de Monterrey, CSF, Mexico City and CMES, Lund University, stefano.bigliardi@cme.lu.se

Bigliardi, Stefano. “Mehdi Golshani’s Philosophy, Islamic Science(s), and Judeo-Christian/Muslim Dialogue: A Reply to Azadegan.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 10 (2014): 16-21.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1Dk

Please refer to:

In his reply “Islamic Science: A Missed Subject in Bigliardi’s Monograph?” Ebrahim Azadegan (2014), albeit only mentioning in his title one challenge to the definition of “New Generation” in the debate over Islam and science, actually discusses two objections to it and further formulates a critical question. Moreover, his first objection is twofold, i.e. articulated in two different doubts. I shall try to address each of them in detail.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Ebrahim Azadegan, Sharif University of Technology, ebrahimazadegan@gmail.com

Azadegan, Ebrahim. “Islamic Science: A Missed Subject in Bigliardi’s Monograph?” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 10 (2014): 12-15.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1D5

Please refer to:

In a similar way as Leif Stenberg has done in his monograph The Islamization of Science (1996), Stefano Bigliardi produces his recent work titled Islam and the Quest for Modern Science (2014a), including several conversations with some senior Muslim thinkers who have been engaged academically in the debate between science and religion and more specifically the debate between modern science and Islam. Nevertheless, challenging Stenberg, Bigliardi’s work deals with what he calls “New Generation” of academic scientific scholars (Bigliardi 2013). The “New Generation” academics have these five characteristics:  Continue Reading…

Author Information: S. Kamal Abdali,k.abdali@acm.org

Kamal, Abdali S. “On Bigliardi’s Islam and the Quest for Modern Science.Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 55-56.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1BE

Please refer to:

An independent discussion of Bigliardi’s book Islam and the Quest for Modern Science (2014) might be relevant to this debate.

Since the 1930s, an idea has taken root in the Islamic world that Islam is not “just a religion” but is a “system of life” (a system for organizing all individual and collective aspects of human life). This idea goes much further than the elaborate categorization, undertaken mainly during the 8th to 10th century period, of human actions into various categories of permitted and forbidden behavior. The “system of life” practically emphasizes collective behavior and policies. A significant body of literature focuses on Islamic political and economic systems. The work—in the same spirit on developing Islamic principles to guide scientific research—started in the later half of the 20th century. The number of scholars engaged in this work is relatively small. But the work is attracting attention and we can notice serious discussions emerging about how scientific work should be conducted, including the acquisition, interpretation, analysis, and application of scientific knowledge.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Stefano Bigliardi, Tec de Monterrey CSF, Mexico City; CMES Lund University, stefano.bigliardi@cme.lu.se

Bigliardi, Stefano. “Latour’s Sophistication, Science and the Qur’an as ‘Mere’ Historical Document: A Counter-Reply to Edis.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 34-35.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1AP

Please refer to:

I read with great interest Taner Edis’ reply to my reply and self-criticism. As it often happens between us I agree with some of his observations, and disagree with others, and I think there are some potential misunderstandings to be cleared up.

I was quite surprised to see my attempt at showing how the notion of a “new generation” in the contemporary debate over Islam and science evolved and my invitation to pay attention to its nuances caricaturized as “breast-beating”. I meant it as an expression of accuracy as well as of respect towards my interlocutors with whom I might occasionally disagree but who, as Edis rightly points out, often differentiate among themselves by virtue of “details” achieved through an intellectual effort that I deeply admire. Such details can actually be of great significance, for good and bad. As to me, I will keep practicing this kind of “breast-beating” and recommending it to my students.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Taner Edis, Truman State University, edis@truman.edu

Edis, Taner. “An Invitation to Science?” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 8 (2014): 3-4.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1yk

Please refer to:

On Oversimplification

I do not understand Stefano Bigliardi’s (2014) breast beating about oversimplification. Any of us interested in in the landscape of Muslim ideas about science and religion have to do our best to find some representative figures. Usually, these are people who have found an audience.

Harun Yahya is at least somewhat representative of popular creationism. In other contexts, the Yahya brand is more of an outlier. Adnan Oktar is a controversial public figure in Turkey. Some of Yahya’s theological positions, such as matter being an illusion, are not exactly mainstream. So anyone writing about ideas put forth under “Harun Yahya” has to be attentive to the context.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Stefano Bigliardi, Tecnológico de Monterrey, CSF, Mexico City; Center for Middle Eastern Studies, CMES, Lund University, Sweden, stefano.bigliardi@cme.lu.se

Bigliardi, Stefano. “On Harmonizing Islam and Science: A Response to Edis and a Self-Criticism.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 6 (2014): 56-68.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1u6

Please refer to:

We must at all costs avoid over-simplification, which one might be tempted to call the occupational disease of philosophers if it were not the occupation. — John Langshaw Austin, How to Do Things with Words, 1962

Defining a “New Generation” in Islam and Science

In a paper for Social Epistemology (Bigliardi 2013), previously discussed at the American University of Sharjah during the conference Belief in Dialogue (21-23 June 2011), I advanced a definition of a “new generation” of authors who discuss the interaction of Islam and science. This paper offered the results attained in an earlier stage of my research. Three main points should be recalled here concerning the discussion offered in those pages.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Taner Edis, Truman State University, edis@truman.edu

Edis, Taner. “On Harmonizing Religion and Science: A Reply to Bigliardi.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no.2 (2014): 40-43.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1gO

Please refer to:

Stefano Bigliardi presents an interesting discussion of what he calls a “new generation” of harmonizers of Islam and science. Let me attempt two comparisons that might help put this new generation into context. First, I think it is interesting to compare these latest attempts to establish harmony to other recent developments in adapting Islam to modern circumstances. Second, I will suggest what the equivalents of the new generation might be in a Christian environment.

The Muslim Middle East has a history of women’s movements criticizing rigid gender roles prescribed by traditional religion, which have hoped to take advantage of the modernization process. The older generations of feminists in Muslim lands — until the mid- to late twentieth century — have tended to hail from among westernized, educated elites. Hence their feminism had a secular character. They assumed that an expanded public presence for women was compatible with a modernist interpretation of Islam. But secular feminists were usually not greatly interested in detailed reinterpretations of sacred texts. They often bypassed religious institutions, engaging instead with westernized state structures (Badran 2009).  Continue Reading…