The Risale-i Nur : Knowledge, Faith, Mor 2010 : INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM, The Risale-i Nur : Knowledge, Faith, Morality and the Future of Humankind
Call For Papers
The Risale-i Nur : Knowledge, Faith, Morality and the Future of Humankind
I. Scope and Objectives
Scholars today frequently suggest that the problems besetting us stem from the abandoning of ethical principles and moral degeneration. It is as though, while taking giant strides forward in science and technology, humanity has forgotten the fundamental principles underlying existence and has neglected essential human values. People live to acquire more and consume more, but have forgotten the spiritual and moral needs of their human ontology. Their homes have grown larger, but families have grown smaller and have even dispersed. They journey to the depths of space, but have strayed from the paths leading inward to their own selves. Mass communications are all-encompassing, but relations with family and neighbours are minimal. News channels have multiplied, but truth and reliability have diminished and disappeared. Information technology has been developed to an astonishing degree, but psychological problems, social injustices, global crises, and ecological disasters have also increased.
How has this happened? Science should have brought greater understanding of the human being, nature, and the purpose of creation, and assisted in their fulfilment. Was it that science was misunderstood or misused? Was it utilized solely in serving particular interests and material needs? Could it be that the source of these problems was the absence of faith and spirituality, which keep humankind from committing excesses and turn them towards the doing of good. Was it the loss of spirituality that has been the cause of people suffering loneliness and unhappiness and their becoming insensitive and belligerent? These questions need close study, for only then may the answers be found and human beings live with the dignity they deserve. Certainly numerous civil and social organizations work to rectify these problems, but more often than not they neglect the spiritual aspects so that the partial solutions they offer hinder positive development rather than help it. As the world grows smaller, the problems grow larger so that they now clearly threaten the material and spiritual future of humanity.
The Risale-i Nur, a contemporary commentary on the Qur’an’s message by a famous Muslim theologian and thinker Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, offers many solutions for these problems. Its method is based on acquiring true knowledge and pointing out its corrected uses; that is, as a means of attaining to “belief by investigation,” and on constructing an ethical understanding proceeding from these principles. The year 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of Bediuzzaman’s death. At the symposium, which is being organized that year with the above objectives in mind, academics, specialists, and writers of all persuasions from all over the world will research the contributions of the Risale-i Nur to the peace, prosperity, and happiness of the Islamic world in particular and humanity in general, and will present papers on them.
We encourage scholars to consider writing on one of the following topics:
The Modern World and Current Situation
The Various Crises Afflicting Contemporary Societies, and Their Solutions
The Nature of Knowledge and its Utilization for Human Happiness
The Relation of Knowledge and Faith, and Their Rendering Existence Meaningful
The Importance of Strengthening Faith in the face of the Positivist Understanding of Science
The Dimensions and Facets of Morality Based on Faith and Knowledge
The Problems of Racialism and Social Injustice, and their Solutions
The Factors Nurturing a Culture of Violence, and their Solutions
Solutions for Problems Arising from Multicultural Differences
The Role of Faith in Developing a Sense of Responsibility and Accountability
Holistic Approaches to Morality and the Future of Humanity
Nursi’s Method of Service based on Impotence, Poverty, and Compassion as a Solution for Problems
Nursi’s Understanding of Mutual Assistance, Compassion, and Solidarity
The Contributions of Nursi’s Approach to Economics to Solving Human Problems
Problems Arising from Modernity and the Solutions Offered by the Risale-i Nur
Problems Caused by Secularization and Views on Their Solution
Solutions Related to the Manipulation of Political Problems
Solutions for Problems Related to Consumerism
The Role of Faith in Developing a Sense of Compassion and Fellow-feeling
Solutions for Problems Stemming from Religious Differences
III. Important Notes
1) The Symposium will take place in Istanbul from 3-5 October, 2010.
2) Papers should reach the Symposium Secretariat by the dates shown below. Any that arrive late will not be considered.
a) Abstracts of the papers, not exceeding 250 words, should reach the Symposium Secretariat no later than 28 February 2010. Accompanying the papers should be a CV of applicants no longer than half a page in length. Both abstract and CV should be in Word format.
b) For their study and evaluation by the Secretariat, full papers should reach it no later than 30 June 2010. They should not exceed 15 pages.
c) The presenters of those papers accepted for presentation will be notified no later than 31 July 2010.
3) Papers should be within the framework of the above topics and written with reference to the Risale-i Nur.
A wide variety of documentation related to the Risale-i Nur is available for study on www.nursistudies.com www.nuronline.org www.barlaplatformu.org The Symposium Documentation Centre will assist in providing further material if required. In addition to reading the English translation of Risale-i Nur by Sukran Vahide, we encourage the participants to consult the following sources: Serif Mardin, Religion and Social Change in Modern Turkey: The Case of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (Albany 1989); Camilla Nereid, In the Light of Said Nursi: Turkish Nationalism and the Religious Alternative (Bergen 1997); Fred A. Reed, Anatolia Junction: A Journey Into Hidden Turkey (Burnaby 1999), and Sukran Vahide, The Author of the Risale-i Nur, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (Istanbul 1992); Sukran Vahide’s Islam in Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi , ed. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005); Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘, Spiritual Dimensions of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Risale-i-Nur (Albany: State University of New York Press, July 2008); and Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘, editor, Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003).
4) The Symposium will be in Turkish, English, and Arabic, for which there will be simultaneous translation.
4. Address for All Communications:
İstanbul İlim ve Kültür Vakfı,
Rüstem Paşa Medresesi,
Surûri Mahallesi, Medrese Sokağı No: 2,
34120 Eminönü, İstanbul.
Tel: +90 212 527 8181
Fax: +90 212 527 8080
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