Muslim Scholarship on Open Theism

Bayam, Emine Gören. Doctoral dissertation 2016. (In Turkish). Acık Teizm Baglaminda Tanri’nin Onbilgisi ve Insan Hurriyeti (God’s Foreknowledge and Human Freedom in the context of Open Theism). Istanbul University, Turkey.
• “AÇIK TEİZME GÖRE TANRI’NIN HER ŞEYİ BİLMESİ MESELESİ.” SBArD, Issue 27/( Spring 2016): 195 – 208.

Some Islamic scholars affirmed dynamic omniscience. Some in the Qadarite school (eighth century) and Abd al-Jabbar, an important figure of the Mu’tazilite school (tenth century). See Michael Lodahl, “The (Brief) Openness Debate in Islamic Theology” in Thomas J. Oord ed., Creation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science (Pickwick, 2009), 55, 59.
Muslim thinkers whose view is similar to open theism are Ma’bed el-Cuheni (7th century), Gaylan ed-Dimaski (8th century) and Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī’ (12’th century).
In the 20’th century Iqbal spoke of divine risk taking. Iqbal’s The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam is a compilation of lectures delivered by Muhammad Iqbal on Islamic philosophy and published in 1930. Republished 1962 in Lahore. From the 1962 edition page 85 he says God takes risks by giving humans genuine freedom.
On Iqbal see:
1. Riffat Hasan. “Freedom of Will and Man’s Destiny in Iqbal’s Thought” Islamic Studies,17/ 4 (Winter 1978), p. 207-220,
2. Mustafa Ruzgar, Claremont theology PhD did his dissertation on Iqbal and Whitehead. He has published Islam and Deep Religious Pluralism In David Ray Griffin’s edited volume, Deep Religious Pluralism, pages 158-177 (2005). Mustafa’s chapter includes some interesting material on Iqbal’s interpretation of God and time.

Contemporary Muslims scholars engaging dynamic omniscience and/or open theism:
1. Ferhat Yoney. Assistant professor of philosophy at Istanbul Medeniyet University.
2. Mariam Shehata. Ph.d student at the University of London is working on Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī’s Theory of Divine Knowledge and Its 12th Century Receptionon.
3. Farhan Shaw is from Pakistan living in Norway. He uses Iqbal and engages both process and open theism.
4.  Eisa Mohammadinia. PhD Student at Tehran University is criticizing open theism by using the ideas of Islamic philosopher Mulla Sadra.

I am coediting a book in which four Muslim scholars from Germany and Iran engage open theism and the Muslim philosophical tradition. [out in 2021]
1. Saida Mirsadri (Teheran University) uses Iqbal and references open theism in a positive way.
2. Darius Asghar-Zadeh (University of Munster, Germany) writes a chapter on “Islamic Philosophical Theology in Discussion with Christian Open Theism.”
3. Muhammad Legenhuausen (The Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute, Qom, Iran) chapter goes through many Islamic philosophers to engage open them but decides open theism strays from the path of the dominant Islamic philosophy.
4. Vahid Mahdavi Mehr (University of Paderborn, Germany) puts transcendental theology, Islamic theology, and open theism into conversation

John Sanders

John E. Sanders is an American theologian who is a professor of religious studies at Hendrix College. He has published on four main topics: (1) open theism, (2) Christian views on the salvation of non-Christians, (3) Christian views on the nature of hell, and (4) applying cognitive linguistics to theology.

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