Thursday, October 8, 2015

Seek Knowledge In China: Thinking Beyond the Abrahamic Box

Nietzche: "What has ever uplifted your soul"

On her great blog, Brain Pickings, Maria Popova quotes a passage from Nietzsche on how to find your identity: “Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: ‘What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?’ ” Line up these revered objects in a row, Nietzsche says, and they will reveal your fundamental self. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Multidisciplinary Conference on Islamic Theology, Law, and Biomedicine

Addresses the discursive and scholarly knowledge gaps impeding Islam and Science discourses through a 3-day multidisciplinary conference on the intersections of Islamic Theology and Law with Biomedicine.

Who: The Initiative on Islam and Medicine of the Program at the University of Chicago
When: Friday, April 15th - Sunday, April 17th
Where: University of Chicago - Ida Noyes Hall 1212 E. 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 
Link to promotional flyer (pdf) 
Call for Abstracts 
The conference invites participants to share their work—be it using empirical, historical, theological, ethico-legal, social scientific, or other research methods—at the intersection of Islam and biomedicine. Papers will be grouped thematically into panels according to field of inquiry—scholastic theology (kalam), moral theology (usul al- fiqh), ethics/law (fiqh, adab, ahklaq), epistemology, empirical health research, and biomedical practice—and each panel will be brought to a close by a scholarly respondent commenting on the implications for cross-disciplinary dialogue and research that emerge from the presented work. While abstracts on any topic of relevance are welcome, presenters should consider the following two questions to be the primary focus of the conference. 
How might scientific notions of harm and risk relate to, and work with, Islamic constructs of necessity and benefit in the context of biomedicine? 
What is an Islamic ontology of the soul? How does it relate to, and how might it work with, modern neuroscientific data, in order to inform a better understanding of death and care for the dying? 
CLICK HERE to submit an abstract. All proposals are due December 16, 2015.
Via Shaykh Omar Qureshi 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The central Buddhist concept of emptiness or voidness

"In essence, Vimalakīrti clears up the confusions surrounding the central Buddhist concept of emptiness, or voidness--presenting it not as nihilism but rather, in the translator's words, "as the joyous and compassionate commitment to living beings born from an unwavering confrontation with the inconceivable profundity of ultimate reality."

-Robert Thurman (translator), The Holy Teaching of Vimalakīrti: A Mahāyāna Scripture (First published in 1976).