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AUS professor wins prestigious Templeton Foundation grant for research on relationship between Islam and science
An American University of Sharjah (AUS) professor was a joint recipient of a more than €600,000 (over AED 3 million) grant from the prestigious John Templeton Foundation to develop educational materials and run workshops that will explain the correct relationship between science and religion in the Islamic context.
Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, Professor of Physics and Interim Head of the Department of Physics at the College of Arts and Sciences at AUS, and Dr. Jean Staune of the Interdisciplinary University of Paris will use the grant to develop a structured approach to the relationship between science and religion. The John Templeton Foundation is an American philanthropic foundation that serves as a catalyst for discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.
"I am pleased that the Templeton Foundation has approved the proposal titled 'Islam and Science, An Educational Approach,' on which I am to act as a co-principal investigator with Dr. Jean Staune of the Interdisciplinary University of Paris," said Dr. Guessoum. "The grant is for three years," he added.
"The project will consist of a number of workshops for advanced students and young researchers on topics relating to the dialogue between Islam and modern science in areas such as cosmology, evolution, environment, practical astronomy, as well as production of booklets, short videos and other such educational material," explained Dr. Guessoum.
The grant will help produce up to 10 booklets covering the relationship between Islam and various areas of science; produce videos that will be subtitled in Arabic; run a number of three-day workshops in the UAE, Jordan, Malaysia, France, Algeria and Tunisia or Morocco; and produce scholarly monographs and manuscripts that will be available electronically on the project's website. "The UAE workshop will be held at AUS and half of the participating students in that workshop will be from AUS," said Dr. Guessoum.
To participate in the workshops, interested students in countries where the workshops will be held will be required to write an essay about the relationship between Islam and an area of science. From the essays received, 20 students will be selected to attend the local workshop, which will be facilitated by scholars from around the world.
Nidhal Guessoum is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at AUS. He has published several books in English, Arabic, and French on science with direct or indirect relevance to Islam, including ISLAM'S QUANTUM QUESTION. As well he has published dozens of scholarly papers in astrophysics and numerous articles on science, education, and culture.