Call for Papers – Islam and Evolution: A Hermeneutic Outlook

A call for papers is announced as part of an upcoming conference on Islam and Evolution

Organisers: University of Edinburgh

Conference Date: 2nd of December 2022

Abstract Deadline: 31st of July 2022

Since its inception, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has been surrounded by theological controversy; some religious traditions embrace the science while others reject it outright; still others represent a complex spectrum of intermediate positions.

Christians, who have dominated the discourse since the inception of the theory, have hermeneutically engaged with evolution in many different ways, ranging from young-earth creationism to full acceptance of the theory. A variety of issues have become important in this space. Non-exhaustively, these include:

  • The age of the earth/universe
  • Creation of plants and animals
  • The creation of Adam/humans
  • Common ancestry
  • The possibility of pre/co-Adamic humans
  • Noah’s flood

In recent years, there has been growing interest among Muslim thinkers in engaging with the theory of evolution in light of their Islamic beliefs. By exploring an array of hermeneutical principles and scriptural sources, Muslim thinkers have attempted to draw various conclusions about the Islamic reception of evolutionary science. This is still an emerging area, and many research questions have not yet received detailed attention. In particular, scriptural traditions discussing Noah’s flood, the status of Adam/humans, and the age of earth have stood out as particular flashpoints of debate between traditional religious positions and mainstream science. This conference hopes to provide an academic space in which such conversations can be had.

We welcome all sorts of proposals from a variety of disciplines, including Islamic exegesis, theology, philosophy, history, and sociology. Interfaith comparisons are also welcomed so long as comparison is done with Islamic ideas or approaches. Moreover, we encourage descriptive and normative approaches, provided that they are academically rigorous and based on mainstream published scholarship.

For consideration of your proposal, please send a 300-word abstract in English to along with your full name, current affiliation, and job rank by the 31st of July 2022. Please use ‘EDINBURGH HERMENEUTICS’ in the subject line. The language of the conference will be English.

Select participants might be asked to send in full articles which will be published either in a special volume of a journal, or as a book chapter in a collected volume.

If you have any questions, please email Shoaib Ahmed Malik.

The conference is supported by a grant from the New Visions in Theological Anthropology (NViTA) project, University of St. Andrews / The John Templeton Foundation.


Conference Details