Nature of Knowledge and Knowledge of Nature in Islam


Although Abrahamic religions are, in general, full of positive references about nature and give individuals responsibility about protecting “their environment”; this does not prevent ecological problems. At the end of the day, ecological problems can be seen as adaptation problems. This means individuals, throughout the history, have always chosen to subjugate nature instead of adapting it and this is always based on power relations. At this point, ecological crisis might be seen as the last phase of adaptation problem. The efforts to control nature cause ecological crisis between individuals and also in their interaction with nature. This is mainly stemmed from the knowledge produced by humanity about nature. And Abrahamic religions are accepted among the sources of knowledge production. Moreover, the close relationship between power and knowledge is taken into consideration from a Foucaultian point of view. Within this framework, this paper argues that because of being an Abrahamic religion built on patrimonial power relations, Islam with its value hierarchy does not allow the researcher to observe it as a source of ecological knowledge production. Although there are important Islamic principles, which can be interpreted under an environmental ethics, this does not help to face ecological crisis. This is mainly about not being exempted from power relations. In order to test this, it is aimed in this paper to conduct a discussion about the nature of knowledge and the knowledge of nature in Islam from a comparative perspective.

Author Information
Cagdas Dedeoglu, Istanbul Arel University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2015
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Religion

This paper is part of the ACERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon