Do You Believe in Miracles?

Lecture Series: Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam (video recording available)

Jewish and Muslim Scripture describe many extraordinary events that contradict human experience and the laws of nature. Each religion considers these to be historical and objective accounts of the facts and attributes them to divine interventions in history.

People with naturalistic worldviews are skeptical of such miraculous tales or reject them outright. They allege that these narratives were rooted in a mythological view of the world that has long ago been replaced by a scientific approach. Yet the belief in miracles and the belief that God intervenes in world events are central articles of faith and of fundamental significance for both religions.

recording available

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
(Opposite the Museum)

Could both religions express the belief in miracles in a way that withstands the challenges posed by science? Or is it impossible to believe in miracles in this day and age?

Video recording of the lecture Do You Believe in Miracles? from 13 June 2019; Jewish Museum Berlin 2019

A discussion between James A. Diamond and Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu. Moderator: Dr. Kathrin Klausing (Institute for Islamic Theology, Osnabrück University).

James A. Diamond

James A. Diamond is a Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His focus areas include biblical exegesis, hermeneutics, and Medieval Jewish philosophy. He has written numerous publications about the major Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides.

Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu

Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu is a Professor in Religious Studies at St. Joseph’s University in Philidelphia, United States, where she studies the philosophy of science and the relationship between the Quran and the sciences. She is the author of Understanding the Qur’anic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age.

About the Lecture Series

Scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology over the past centuries have called into question the centrality of humans as the “crown of creation.” Today, religious and scientific positions are often seen as irreconcilable. While some present religions as incompatible with a modern worldview, others demand that creationism be giving equal billing in school as an alternative to the theory of evolution. In the past, this conflicting relationship between religion and science was hardly the rule. Many theologists were also scientists and made significant contributions to our understanding of humanity and the surrounding world.

This lecture series sets out to explore the tensions and affinities between Judaism, Islam, and the sciences. It aims to supplement the narrative of conflict with other narratives. To that end, the lecture series delves into subjects such as evolution and creation, belief in miracles, biological determinism and free will, historicist critical analysis of sacred texts, and how Jewish and Muslim religious educators approach the sciences.

Where, when, what?

  • When13 Jun 2019
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium
    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)
    See location on map

Lecture Series 2018/19: Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam (5)

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