Bursa Local Society Initiative
University of Uludag
The Bursa Local Society Initiative is a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural educational group bringing together theologians, medical practitioners, mathematicians, and scientists for a study/steering group to inform and direct activities and outreach efforts. They explore a range of metaphysical and worldview questions arising from the dialogue between science and religion through conferences, symposia and reading/discussion activities, and invitations for participation of students and professionals from local scientific and theological institutions. Bursa LSI explores topics related to holistic knowledge, science in Islamic history, creationism, evolutionary theories, notions of, math and metaphysics, ethics, and training and curriculum in science and faith for students and professional. Various events are publicized through Internet and other postings. Meetings of the planning group take place regularly to plan events, keep abreast of current trends and themes in science and religion dialogue, and discuss future activities to remain current with contemporary issues. Bursa LSI also organizes society events, invite speakers, purchase books for group study, assure that results are publicized, and maintain public forums directly related to the project. The Bursa LSI is establishing a strong specialist library in science and religion. According to the Chair: “The term â€˜holisticâ€™ as used here is not limited to the science of healing and nutrition. The term ‘Holistic’ means totally all-inclusive, all comprehensive, integrative, systematic, balanced, and takes into account all factors. Holistic knowledge means an all-encompassing â€˜scienceâ€™ which would take into account the contributions of metaphysics and physics as well as other domains of knowledge. At the heart of this approach lies â€˜interdisciplinarity.â€™ In this context, the concept takes its inspiration from the idea of â€˜marÃ¢teb al`uloomâ€™ or â€˜ihsÃ¢ al-uloom,â€™ which in classical 9th-13th century Muslim sources as well as for Ottoman Turkish scholars of science emphasized the interconnectedness of and hierarchy in individual areas of knowledge. It aims towards a â€˜holisticâ€™ approach to knowledge which neglects neither science nor â€˜metaphysics-religion.â€™ An interdisciplinary approach to science and religion has not found a space for itself in Turkish academia so far due to various historical, educational, and political reasons.â€ Therefore, promoting holistic knowledge and interdisciplinarity throughout Turkey direct the Bursa LSI agenda. Matching funds are provided by the University of Uludag.