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Conference Programme (last modified: 17 September 2008)




The Durham University Risale-i Nur Programme, under the auspices of the School of

Government and International Affairs, is organizing a conference for scholars of Said

Nursi to be held on the 20th and 21st October 2008.. The conference focus on Nursi's

approach to the Creator-creature relationship and what it means to be human,

particularly in the light of man's mortal nature and the inevitability of death.


Monday 20th October (Venue: Room 102, Al-Qasimi Building, IMEIS/SGIA)

9.00-9.45 Registration

9.45 Opening Address: To Be Announced

Morning session:

Chair: Prof Oliver Leaman

10.00 – 10.45. Prof Bilal Kuspinar: ‘The Human Conscience as a Proof for the

Existence of God: An Analysis of the Relevant Passages in the Mathnawi Al-

‘Arabi Al-‘Arabi’

10.45 – 11.00. Refreshments

11.00-11.45. Prof Thomas Michel: ‘Sincerity and Wisdom in the Fully Human


11.45- 12.30. Dr Metin Karabasoglu: ‘New Aspects of the Struggle between Belief

and Unbelief in the Midst of Shifting Paradigms’

12.30 – 14.15. Lunch

Afternoon session:

Chair: Prof Thomas Michel

14.15 – 15.00. Dr Sukran Vahide: ‘Man as Divine Vicegerent on Earth: How New

is Said Nursi’s Interpretation?’

15.00 – 15.45. Prof Yunus Cengel: ‘Beyond the Body: Towards Understanding

the True Nature of Man’

15.45 – 16.00. Refreshments

16.00 – 16.45. Prof Oliver Leaman: ‘The Bite of the Gnat and the Bite of the

Snake: Style and Substance in Said Nursi's Discussion of the Afterlife’

Tuesday 21st October (Venue: Room 102, Al-Qasimi Building, IMEIS/SGIA)

Morning session:

Chair: Prof Bilal Kuspinar

09.30 – 10.15. Prof Ahmet Akgunduz: ‘Divine Decree and the Issue of Free Will

according to Bediuzzaman’s Works’

10.15-11.00. Dr Kerim Balci: ‘Agents of Human Spirituality: The Ten Subtleties

(Letaif-i Asere) of Man and Their Use in the Epistles of Light’

11.00- 11.15. Refreshments

11.15- 12.00. Prof Zeki Saritoprak: ‘Nursi on the Problem of Theodicy’

12.00 – 12.45. Dr. Murat Ciftkaya: ‘Pleasure, Mortality and a New Approach’

12.45 – 14.15 Lunch

Afternoon session:

Chair: Prof Ahmet Akgunduz

14:15 – 15.00 Father Martin de Vries: ‘Man created in God’s Image’

15.00 – 15.45 Dr Mehmet Ozalp: ‘Reconciling the Universal Will of God and the

Human Free Will’

15.45 – 16.00 Refreshments

16.15 – 17.00. Dr Mahsheed Ansari: ‘Man’s Struggle with Mortality and the Quest

for Rediscovering God; Finding Spirituality in Generation Y.’

17.00 Concluding address