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Conference Programme and Registration


The Turkish Muslim scholar and exegete Bediüzzaman Saïd Nursi (1876-1960) is the founder of the largest and arguably the fastest-growing faith-based community in Turkey and the Turkic-speaking world, the Nur movement. Author of the 5000-page Quranic commentary known as the Risale-i Nur (Epistles of Light), Nursi is a scholar whose thought is characterised by an overwhelming emphasis on the issue of man's knowledge of, and belief in, God. For Nursi, it is belief and belief alone that makes man truly human, while it is lack of belief that lies behind the myriad problems man faces in his short sojourn on earth. According to Nursi, at the heart of man's existential dilemma is the fact that he is a finite being with infinite desires, together with his inability to reconcile his immortal longings with the reality of his own mortality.

The Risale-i Nur Studies is organising a conference on God, man and mortality from the perspective of Saïd Nursi,to be held in the School of Government and International Affairs, University of Durham, on 20th and 21st October, 2008. The conference aims to explore Nursi's perspective on 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. The conference seeks to bring together a wide range of scholarly voices in the arts, social sciences and humanities to deconstruct the various dimensions of the subject in question through the discourse of Saïd Nursi.

We invite papers that may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • The dilemma of being human
  • The human ego
  • Death and death anxiety
  • Modernity, self, individualism/personalism
  • God as creator; man as creature
  • Resurrection and the hereafter
  • Belief and unbelief
  • Divine Decree and the issue of free will
  • Man as Divine vicegerent on earth

Accommodation will be provided for presenters and travel expenses, including international flights, will be subsidised subject to prior agreement.

Any queries regarding the conference should be addressed to either of the conference organisers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)