REL 238
Faith and Rationality in Islam: Skepticism and the Quest for Certainty Fall 2018
Division II
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Religious faith is generally perceived as being diametrically opposed to reason and rationality. Islam in particular is often assumed to be even more dogmatic in its demand for blind unquestioning faith. This course will explore the lively debates among Muslim theologians regarding the complex relationship between faith, rationality, and skepticism. Is faith compatible with reason and rationality? Can the foundations of Islamic belief be proven to be true? Are there limits to what can be known rationally? Are people justified in holding religious beliefs? Does faith require absolute certainty? What room is there for doubt and skepticism in Islam? We will explore these questions through an array of primary and secondary readings in Islamic theology, philosophy, and mysticism from the medieval period.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 5-10
Class#: 1380
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: essays and exams
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PHIL Related Courses

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