A comparative study on the possible coexistence of destiny and free will with detailed analysis of Fethullah Gulen’s perspective

Atilla Ergi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

The concepts of destiny and free will have been and continue to be two of the most difficult problems of classical and contemporary theology and philosophy. The debate on the perplexing coexistence of determinism and free will has been the focal point of discourse among theologians and philosophers since antiquity. The deliberations on determinism and free will also played an important role in the formation of Islamic theology, as the creedal statements of Islamic doctrines define belief in predestination as one of the essential articles of creed while asserting that human agents possess some form of will defined as juz’-ī irāda, ‘minor will’ in the Arabic lexicon. Evidently, the creed of mainstream Sunni Islam necessitates that the two concepts are reconciled or at least a plausible argument is provided to support the notion that predestination could coexist with free will. Arguments for coexistence grounded on scriptural revelation and Prophetic narrations were proposed by various Muslim theologians from the formative period to contemporary times, during which several theological schools emerged due to significant differences in views. This study is primarily based on an examination and analysis of the theological arguments proposed by Fethullah Gülen, a contemporary Muslim scholar, and his theoretical framework on the reconciliation of predestination and free will. The methodology of this study includes comparative and detailed analysis of arguments put forward by formative, classical and contemporary Islamic scholars and examination of arguments proposed by Western theologians and philosophers to establish the similarities and differences in the theoretical frameworks of scholars from different schools, traditions and faiths.
The main argument of this study is based on the theological premises proposed by Fethullah Gülen and mainstream Sunni theologians that support the coexistence of Divine Destiny and free will.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Yucel, Salih, Principal Supervisor
  • Ozalp, Mehmet, Principal Supervisor
Award date20 Oct 2021
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

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