Building an Abrahamic Scholarly Community

Scholar group with Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

Workshop participants with Jordan's Prince Hassan bin Talal in Amman, Jordan

The remarkable resurgence of philosophy of religion and science-religion is mostly philosophy of Christianity. In anticipating a more cooperative future, it is vital to motivate, inform and inspire Abrahamic scholars at formative stages of their careers to acquire more and better tools of inquiry. Moreover, given our world situation, we simply need more Muslim-Christian cooperation. Through an annual workshop and recruiting tours, we aim to identify teachers, mentors, professors, universities, departments, programs, and students who are interested in pursuing new approaches to Islamic theology or Islamic philosophy of religion.

Kelly James Clark, Project Director

Scholars in sunset in Istanbul


The annual Abrahamic workshops involve U.S. Christian Ph.D. students and advanced Muslim students and younger professors from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Turkey. Topics include: 

Issues in theism: theistic arguments, rationality and religious belief, the problem of evil, God and morality, the metaphysics of theism (omnipotence, omniscience, immutability, etc), divine authority, free will, human nature, mind-body, miracles, realism/anti-realism, religious experience

Issues in Islamic theology: revelation, the afterlife, the revealed attributes of God, prayer, natural and revealed law, mysticism, the nature of ijtihad, faith, philosophy of language, justice, religious diversity

Issues in science and religion: evolution-creation, free will, cognitive science of religion, fine-tuning, the soul, divine action, scientific and religious explanations, human nature, randomness, and providence

Study circle with Abrahamic scholars

March 9-12, 2020: Ibn Haldun University's Suleymaniye Mosque Campus in Istanbul, Turkey

Group shot in front of mosque

This workshop provided a forum for philosophical and theological discussion, exchange, and mutual learning for younger Muslim and Christian scholars. In addition to keynotes and workshops, graduate students and early career professors presented their research. The goal is for young academics to benefit from multi-disciplinary and inter-religious perspectives and to identify new avenues of research. With participants from England, Turkey, USA, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Jordan, and Iran.

Workshops: Kelly James Clark on "Religion and Violence,” and  Enis Doko on "Evolution and Islam." Keynotes by Daniel Rubio on “The Best World Defense,” Samuel Murray on “Will Science Destroy Free Will?”, Betul Avci on “Scriptural Reasoning,” Chafik Graiguer on “Jacob and his Sons: Moral Sensibility Induced by Narrative Ethics,” and Burhan Koroglu on "“Religious Diversity from the Quranic Point of View”

Group discussion

More discussion

Group shot of scholars in front of Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Group discussion

March 11-14, 2019: Bahçeşehir University's Civilization Studies Centre in Istanbul, Turkey

Presentations by young scholars from Egypt, England, Jordan, USA, Iran, and Turkey.

Public lectures by Kelly James Clark on “Strangers, Neighbors, Friends: Muslim and Christian Reflections on Compassion and Peace,” and Caner Taslaman on “Islam and Evolution

Workshops by Enis Doko on “God and the Multiverse” and Kelly James Clark on “God and the Brain


Packed auditorium at conference

Group shot in Istanbul

Women scholars in Istanbul 2019

Enis Doko and friends

Dinner with scholars

July 10-13, 2017: Royal Institute of Interfaith Studies in Amman, Jordan

Workshops directed by Nidhal Guessoum on “Islam and Cosmology” and “Theism and Evolution," and Kelly James Clark on “God and the Brain: the science of the mind and the rationality of belief/unbelief

Keynotes by Majeda Omar on “William James on Science, Truth and Religion,” Enis Doko on “The Fine-Tuning Argument,” and Daniel Howard Snyder on “The Nature and Value of Faith.

Participants from Algeria, Jordan, USA, Turkey, India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Morocco. 


Kelly Clark with Nidhal Guessoum and group

Muslim scholar group shot