Islam’s Quantum Challenge: Living Islam in the Age of Science

Friday, March 9, 2018 - Sunday, March 11, 2018

Goshen College, Goshen Indiana

The eighteenth annual Goshen Conference on Science and Religion was held on the campus of Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, Friday, Marchh 9, 2018, through Sunday, March 11, 2018.  The speaker for the 2018 conference was Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal.

Dr, Muzaffar Iqbal

Dr. Muzaffar IqbalMuzaffar Iqbal is the founder-president of Center for Islamic Sciences (, Canada, (previously, Center for Islam and Science); editor of Islamic Sciences, a semi-annual journal of Islamic perspectives on science and civilization, and General Editor of the seven-volume Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. the first English-language reference work on the Qur'an based on fourteen centuries of Muslim reflection and scholarship. The first volume was published in January 2013.

Dr. Iqbal received his Ph.D. in chemistry (University of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1983), and then left the field of experimental science to fully devote himself to study Islam, its spiritual, intellectual and scientific traditions. More information about Dr. Iqbal can be found here.

Dr. Iqbal presents the complexities of the discourse on the relationship between Islam and science within the broader context of the Muslim encounter with modernity in three lectures.

Lecture 1: Understanding the Islam and Science Nexus: A Discourse on Method

This lecture provides a methodology—an alternative methodology—to understand the Islam and science nexus. In recent decades, the science and religion discourse has been framed mainly by an historically-construed relationship of science with Christianity, presumably in conflict with science, and even though many theologians have attempted to gloss the rough edges, the initially construed binary remains. Thus, a ubiquitous and has always defined the framework of the discourse, even when extended to other religions as diverse as Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. This framing is particularly problematic for Islam. This first lecture explains why and suggests and alternative methodology.

Lecture 2: God, Life, and the Cosmos in an Islamic Mirror

When and how did the cosmos come into existence? When and how did life appear on earth? Is there an end to creation or will it endure forever? The origin and ultimate destiny of human life on earth has always been at the center of the human quest for knowledge, self-identity, and relationship with the Creator and with others. This lecture presents fundamental Islamic beliefs about God, life, and the cosmos and explores their relationship with scientific cosmology and evolution.

Lecture 3: Islam, Science, Muslims, and Technology: Contemporary Challenges

The “challenge of science” is perhaps the most serious challenge that Islam has faced in its fourteen-hundred-year history. Science yields technology and technologies change the way we live, procure food, construct dwellings, communicate and travel—in short, they redefine both space and time around us. Islam has its own peculiar demands on the believers with respect to both space and time. This lecture explores the nature of time and space in Islam and the challenges which Muslims face, both as individuals as well as collectively.