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From the Divine to the Human Contemporary Islamic Thinkers on Evil, Suffering, and the Global Pandemic

Featuring the work of leading contemporary Muslim philosophers and theologians, this book grapples with various forms of evil and suffering in the world today, from COVID-19 and issues in climate change to problems in palliative care and human vulnerability.

Rather than walking down well-trodden paths in philosophy of religion which often address questions of evil and suffering by focusing on divine attributes and the God-world relationship, this volume offers another path of inquiry by focusing on human vulnerability, potential, and resilience. Addressing both the theoretical and practical dimensions of the question of evil, topics range from the transformative power of love, virtue ethics in Sufism and the necessity of suffering, to the spiritual significance of the body and Islamic perspectives on embodiment. In doing so, the contributors propose new perspectives based on various pre-modern and contemporary materials that can enrich the emerging field of the global philosophy of religion, thereby radically transforming contemporary debates on the nature of evil and suffering.

The book will appeal to researchers in a variety of disciplines, including Islamic philosophy, religious studies, Sufism, and theology.

About the Editors

Muhammad U. Faruque is Inayat Malik Assistant Professor of Islamic Thought and Cross-Cultural Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.

Mohammed Rustom is Professor of Islamic Thought and Director of the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam at Carleton University.

Table of Contents


Muhammad U. Faruque and Mohammed Rustom

  1. Remarks on Evil, Suffering, and the Global Pandemic

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

  1. The Existential Threat of Climate Change: A Practical Application of Avicenna’s Theory of Evil

Rosabel Ansari

  1. On Self-Knowledge, Divine Trial, and Discipleship

Mukhtar H. Ali

  1. Necessitated Evil: An Islamic Neoplatonic Theodicy from the Ismaili Tradition

Khalil Andani

  1. Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s Metaphysical Theodicy

Justin Cancelliere

  1. Hume on Trial: Can Evil and Suffering be Justified?

Muhammad U. Faruque

  1. Cultivating Prayerful Presence at the Bedside: From Mastery Towards Mystery

Hina Khalid

  1. The Gifts of Suffering and the Virtues of the Heart

Atif Khalil

  1. Cain, Systemic Evil, and Our Inhumanity

Martin Nguyen

  1. Practical Muslim Theodicy: A Ghazalian Perspective on Emotional Pain

Joel Richmond

  1. The Student and the Sage

Mohammed Rustom

  1. Trials as Transformation in Islamic Chaplaincy

Ailya Vajid

  1. Transformative Love Amid Suffering in Hilmi Ziya Ülken

Taraneh Wilkinson

  1. Suffering as Metaphysical Narrative: Exploring an Islamic Theodicy of Authorship

Cyrus Ali Zargar

Bibliographic Information

Title: From the Divine to the Human Contemporary Islamic Thinkers on Evil, Suffering, and the Global Pandemic

Editor (s): Muhammad U. Faruque & Mohammed Rustom

Publisher: Routledge

Length: 350 Pages


Pub. Date: June 28, 2023

Click Here to Buy the Book.

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