Think Tank (2/2024)
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Philosophical Encounters: Islam and the Religious Other
06 Mar 2024

The Studies in Interreligious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) Programme at RSIS held a webinar titled “Philosophical Encounters: Islam and the Religious Other”, on 6 March 2024. Attended by around 55 participants, the webinar engaged in a rich discussion of Islam’s encounter with the religious other from the perspective of philosophy. It featured Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, Al-Ghazali Chair of Epistemology and Civilizational Studies and Renewal at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

Prof Bakar explored the multifaceted meanings of Islam, highlighting its etymological, philosophical, scriptural, and institutional dimensions. He emphasised Islam’s inclusive approach to salvation, elucidating the Quran’s universalist view of religions and their origins from God.

Delving into Islam’s engagement with other faiths, Prof Bakar underscored the philosophical dimension of the Quran and its universal relevance. He discussed how Muslim philosophers historically embraced philosophy as shared truth across cultures and religions, fostering intellectual exchange and understanding.

The webinar concluded with Prof Bakar’s call for Muslims to revisit the Quran’s philosophical essence and encouraged greater civilisational consciousness and dialogue. It provided valuable insights into Islam’s inclusive theory of interfaith relations and emphasised the importance of philosophical engagement for deeper understanding and harmony among diverse religious communities.

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