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Theodicy and the Problem of Evil in Islam: The Risale-i Nur as Case Study

YESILHARK, TUBANUR (2013) Theodicy and the Problem of Evil in Islam: The Risale-i Nur as Case Study. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The thesis at hand presents a critical analysis of the writings of the contemporary, 20th century Muslim scholar, theologian and exegete Said Nursi (1876-1960) of Turkey. Special reference is given in this thesis to his views and writings on theodicy and the problem of evil from the perspective of Islām.
This thesis is an attempt to discover the Qur'anic narrative of evil (sharr) as deviating from the human perception of evil in this world; to analyze Nursi's magnum opus on the definition of sharr and its correspondence to the Qur'anic definition thereof; and to challenge Nursi's works with the thoughts and views of his predecessors and contemporaries in order to try to filter new insights and offer possible solutions to theodicy and the problem of evil through Nursi's Risale-i Nur Collection.
The methodology that has been used in this study follows Izutsu's example as seen in Ethico-Religious Concepts of the Qur'an and God and Man in the Koran: namely to conduct an inductive investigation of the term sharr in the Qur'ān and Nursi's Risale-i Nur Collection.
There are several issues that can be considered to be the main findings of this study: 1) human perception of evil in this world to a great extent at odds with the Qur'anic definition of sharr, 2) new theological concept called 'negative worship', establishing a relation between sharr and worship, 3) relationship between theodicy and the Divine Names of God, 4) link between the human 'I' (ana) and, if misused, its encouragement for all kinds of ashrār (pl. sharr), 5) original interpretation to the Qur'anic verse [2:30], 6) sharr, ana and free choice (juz'ī ikhtiyār) consist of the same nature and finally 7) suffering of on-human beings part of the field of theodicy.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Theodicy, evil, Islam, Qur'an, Risale-i Nur, Said Nursi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Ghazali, sharr, moral evil, natural evil, existential theodicy, Divine Trust, existence, Bediuzzaman, predestination, free will
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Dec 2013 16:18

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