Judaism and Islam have theological explanations for the origins of the world and humanity. These testify to a God who created the world and all living creatures in a unified act of Creation, assigning an elevated role to human beings.
Charles Darwin’s magnum opus The Origin of Species (1859) launched the discipline of evolutionary biology, which gives evidence that all living organisms are descended from other organisms and that humans are ultimately the product of an evolutionary process that took millions of years. Darwin’s insights marked a sea change in our understanding of how life emerged.
W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)
How does theology treat these scientific approaches? How do Judaism and Islam envision their belief in Creation today?
A discussion between Natan Slifkin and Fatimah Jackson (Howard University, USA). Moderator: Dr. Kathrin Klausing (Institute for Islamic Theology, Osnabrück University).
Natan Slifkin is the founding director of the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh, Israel. He is the author of numerous publications about Judaism and the sciences, including The Challenge of Creation and the Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom.
Fatimah Jackson is a biologist and anthropologist. She is a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her research focuses on the study of human-plant coevolution and the spread of anatomically modern humans.
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.
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Lecture Series 2018/19: Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam (6)
Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam
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. This lecture series sets out to explore the tensions and affinities between Judaism, Islam, and the sciences.
Creation and Evolution in Schools
With Rachel S. A. Pear (Center for Jewish Education in the University of Haifa) and Anila Asghar (Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, Canada)
4 Jul 2019
Do You Believe in Miracles?
With James A. Diamond (Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada) and Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu (Professor in Religious Studies at St. Joseph’s University in Philidelphia, United States)
13 Jun 2019 (with video recording)
Humanity: Between Destiny and Free Will
With Alan Mittleman (Jewish Theological Seminary of America) and Martin Mahmud Kellner (Institute of Islamic Theology, Osnabrück)
30 Apr 2019 (with video recording)
How Much God Is in the Holy Scriptures?
With Benjamin Sommer (expert in modern Jewish theology) and Ghassan el Masri (researcher on the Koran in the context of the Arabic literature of his time), in German and English
5 Mar 2019 (with video recording)
God, Darwin, and Evolution
With Natan Slifkin (Biblical Museum of Natural History, Beit Shemesh, Israel) and Fatimah Jackson (Howard University, USA)
31 Jan 2019 (with video recording)
Science in the Light of Faith
With Geoffrey A. Mitelman (Sinai and Synapses) and Ahmad S. Dallal (Georgetown University, Qatar)
20 Nov 2018 (with video recording)
Dialogical Lecture Series
Overview of all recorded dialogical lectures from this series by the Jewish-Islamic Forum
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