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Professor Colin Turner [Durham University]

Date: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd November 2015 Time: 9am – 5pm, each day

Venue: Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX

Organised in partnership with the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture[IFSC]

The seminar is open to all but spaces are limited. Entry is through prior registration only.

Costs: Unless the course is cancelled, there are no refunds for non-attendance

  • Online payment – Weekend:£50 within deadline date
  • IFSC members only online payment – Weekend:£20 within deadline date
  • Online or cash on the day – door entry – Weekend: £70
  • Any one day – Online or cash: £50

SPECIAL OFFER BOOKING DEADLINE: MONDAY 16th NOVEMBER 2015 after which prices increase – this is to ensure serious commitment to learning, attending and having a mature and professional outlook as the presenters have spent time in preparation.

Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (rh), was one of the most important thinkers of the Muslim world in the last century, who inspired many faith movements that have played a vital role in the revival of Islam in Turkey and across the world. His magnum opus was the “Risale-i Nur” collection, a body of Qur’anic exegesis attempting to reconcile the modern sciences and the Quran on the onslaught of a militant materialistic secularist atheism. Turkey’s recent relative rise can be attributed to the idea’s of Nursi.

As the course is aimed at the advanced level, participants must be familiar with the basics of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (rh) life, work and thoughts, reasonable understanding classical arabic and classical Islamic Sciences including kalam, metaphysics, philosophy, and epistemology.

This advanced level study weekend course will look at:

  • The theology of the names/attributes of God
  • The problem of the human ‘I’ or ‘ana’ (‘I’, ‘ego’)
  • The problem of cause and effect
  • The dichotomy of belief and submission (iman/islam)
  • The notion of self-referentiality and other-indicativeness (ma’na-i ismi and ma’na-ye harfi)
  • The myth of the ‘open doors of creation’
  • Hakan Gülerce of IFSC – State of Nursi Studies worldwide today
  • Extensive Q & A sessions

Professor Colin Turner

Professor  Colin Turner is a leading expert on Said Nursi. He is a Reader in Islamic Thought in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. He completed his BA (Hons.,First Class) in Oriental Studies (Arabic, Persian, Islamic Studies and anthropology), and then his PhD in Islamic Studies, from Durham University, and has been teaching at the university for the last 20 years.

His research interests include: Muslim theology and philosophy; The history of Muslim political thought, The works of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi; Sufi spirituality; Shi’ism; The Qur’an and Qur’anic exegesis; Anthropology of religion and Persian literature.

He has authored and contributed to many books including the following:

  • Turner, Colin & Horkuc, Hasan (2009). Makers of Islamic Civilisation: Said Nursi. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Turner, Colin P. (2005). Islam: The Basics. Oxford: Routledge.
  • Turner, Colin (2004). The Koran (Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies). London: RoutledgeCurzon.
  • Turner C (2000). The Muslim World.
  • Turner C (1997). The Quran: A New Interpretation.
  • Turner, Colin (2008). ‘The Six-Sided Vision of Said Nursi: Toward a Spiritual Architecture of Risale-i-Nur’. In Spiritual Dimensions of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Risale-I-Nur. Abu-Rabi, Ibrahim New York: Suny Press. 23-52
  • Turner, Colin. (2008). ‘The Six-Sided Vision of Said Nursi: Toward a Spiritual Architecture of the Risale-i-Nur’. In Spiritual Dimensions of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Risale-i-Nur. Rabi, Ibrahim Abu Suny.

And written and contributed to many academic papers such as:

  • Turner, Colin (2010). ‘Bediuzzaman and the Concept of ʿAdl: Towards a Nursian Ontology of Divine Justice’. Asian Journal of Social Science 38(4): 554-582.
  • Turner, Colin (2007). ‘Reconsidering Jihad: the perspective of Bediuzzamen Said Nursi’. Nova Religio 11(2): 94-111.
  • Turner, Colin (2006). ‘Wealth as an immortality symbol in the Qur’an: a reconsideration of the mal amwal verses’. Journal of Qur’anic Studies 8(2): 58-83.

Besides teaching and supervising PHd students, he is a member of the Centre for the History of Political Thought and of the Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Durham University.

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