Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flawed Academic credentials

According to Wiki, Religious studies is an academic discipline, a field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically-based, and cross-cultural perspectives. What religious studies does not do is educate or indoctrinate students to believe in a certain religion. Such studies are reserved for special religious schools, such as a yeshiva in Judaism, or a madrassa in Islam, or a seminary in Christianity. Religious Studies, in a university, does not teach dogma. It teaches a critique of any dogma in any religion.

This would seem like a foregone understanding of what Religious Studies does

Yet in Germany, a different precedent has been set:

After a revolt by German Muslims, a university is to appoint a new professor to oversee the training of schoolteachers in Islamic religious studies, officials said Tuesday.

Muslim organizations said last week they had lost confidence in Professor Muhammad Kalisch, the theologian who oversaw a teacher-training program at the University of Muenster in northern Germany.

Kalisch upset the Muslim community by writing that there was no historical evidence that the Prophet Mohammed existed.

Kalisch is doing what any academic in any field of studies has to do: he questions. Yet here he is, being bumped off a position at an academic institute because he does what an academic should be.

The term, Academia, connotes the cultural accumulation of knowledge, and its evolution across time and geography. Knowledge should be scientifically verifiable, well-argued, proved, based on facts and experimentation. Faith is not knowledge in the academic sense of the word. Believers may attest to feeling very strongly that their faith is knowledge, but since they cannot prove it by objective means, such knowledge is not academic: it may be religious, or intuitive, but academic, it is not.

So how come in Germany, they are going to pander to believers in choosing an overseer for a religious studies programme which is academic?

Why allow religious considerations dictate who is or is not competent to teach religious studies?


At 5:18 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Marx claims that people who hold the view that Mohammed did not exist are pseudo-scholars because it so improbable.

See Der Spiegel

At 6:33 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


clever answers from Mr. Michael.


to answer this byzantine question,

Prophet mohammed existed because of these reasons I compiled as my small knowledge reaches.

allah mention prophet mohammed in the quran :

(( (271) Not upon you (Muhammad SAW) is their guidance, but Allâh guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend in good, it is for yourselves, when you spend not except seeking Allâh's Countenance. And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged. ))

(((15) Move not your tongue concerning (the Qur'ân, O Muhammad SAW) to make haste therewith. (16) It is for Us to collect it and to give you (O Muhammad SAW) the ability to recite it (the Qur'ân), (17) And when We have recited it to you [O Muhammad SAW through Jibril (Gabriel)], then follow you its (the Qur'ân's) recital.((


quran without prophet muhammed is not understood perfectly, I will give an example:

"Riba", usuery

From the quran :

((274) Those who eat Ribâ[] (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: "Trading is only like Ribâ (usury)," whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns [to Ribâ (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire - they will abide therein (275) Allâh will destroy Ribâ (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqât (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And Allâh likes not the disbelievers, sinners. ))

here is a hadeith by prophet mohammed:

ففي مستدرك الحاكم وسنن أبي داود وابن ماجه والنسائي وغيرهم عن الحسن عن أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : " ليأتين على الناس زمان لا يبقى فيه أحد إلا أكل الربا فإن لم يأكله أصابه من غباره "

"there will come times when nobody is kept from eating from "riba", and if he doesnt eat from riba the dust of riba will hit him.

so with this hadieth and plenty other hadieths on riba things become clearer.

so there are many things that proof he lived, although I am ready to partcipate with Mr.Kalisch if he pays my ticket fees and accomodation and will work together.

(although the aim is to see the reaction of muslims not pure study, but lets believe in his academic approach and hope he reaches a good answer)

I dont see it as something wrong to ask and search.



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