Could science have helped reconcile the early divisions between Shi'a and Sunni Islam | Forum

Topic location: Forum home » Islam » Islam & Science
Jon Trevathan
Jon Trevathan Jul 12 '15
The issue I explore in this paper is whether there is a scientifically plausible ontology that can reconcile selected doctrinal disputes in the early Shi'a and Sunni Islam creeds; as identified in A. J. Wensinck's book titled "The Muslim Creed". Because the Bahá'í ontologies have their roots in the Islamic philosophies, they are integral to this reconciliation.
The Forum post is edited by Jon Trevathan Jul 12 '15
Huping Hu
Huping Hu Jul 12 '15
Hello Jon,

Thank you for posting on this fascinating topic. I'll read you paper when time permits and offer you my view.

Hopefully, other members will also participate.

Huping Hu
Huping Hu Jul 18 '15
In this paper, Jon makes the noble attempt on the reconciliation of Shi'a and Sunni doctrinal disputes from the perspective of a "scientifically plausible ontology". 

This ontology, as I understand it, is that "the probability density of future potentialities or contingencies could be influenced by our thoughts and prayers...[and] within this [ontology], all things are interconnected affording an opportunity for synchronicity, the law of attraction, and the value of intercessory prayer to also be explained."

To reach and support this plausible ontology, Jon cites various authorities in the fields of Islamic research and modern physics (especially notions from string theory). Whether one agrees with this plausible ontology and cited literature are for one alone to judge. It is my humble opinion that Jon's paper does provide some food for thoughts and has some good insights.

However, the doctrinal disputes between Shia and Sunni should be spelled out (summarized) for the readers in the paper since many readers are not scholars on Islam nor read the book "The Muslim Creed" by A. J. Wensinck. Further, how the scientifically plausible ontology is to solve these doctrinal disputes should also be discussed.

The Forum post is edited by Huping Hu Jul 18 '15
Jon Trevathan
Jon Trevathan Jul 19 '15
Huping Hu,

Your observations are well taken.  The paper was prepared in the context of a class at George Mason University on Shi'a and Sunni Islam where the paper's references to these doctrinal differences were part of class' shared understandings.  I can also see that my discussion on how the Islamic/Baha'i ontology might resolve these disputes was excessively terse, if not cryptic.

Thank you for your comments.