A Global Philosophy of Religion in the Local Des Moines Community

Globally, our Lecture and Dialogue Series enacts an innovative approach to religiously inclusive philosophy of religion, exploring common religious themes from different religious perspectives through scholar lectures, practitioner dialogues, and philosophical comparisons. Locally, our Religions of Des Moines Initiative generates informative media about religious communities in the greater Des Moines area, collaborating with local practitioners to create narrative guides, digital stories, and engaging photos of their communities.

Student Comparisons and Evaluations (S15)

Professor Knepper’s Spring 2105 Philosophy of Religion course looked at discourses of ineffability in Jewish mysticism and Muslim mysticism (as well as a little Zen Buddhism).  In their final papers students were asked to describe and compare several of these discourses, then both to explain their commonalities and differences and to evaluate the general claim that ultimate beings and/or experiences…

KneppeWEB

Concluding Comparisons

Tim Knepper and Leah Kalmanson, Directors of The Comparison Project, Drake University professors of philosophy and religion. April 30, 7 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center In the final event of its 2013-2015 series on “religion beyond words,” The Comparison Project’s directors, Tim Knepper and Leah Kalmanson, will compare over the programming of the last two years, raising philosophical questions of…

Albertini

Love Is to Renounce Naming the Beloved: Muslim Mystic al-Rabi’a and Her Teaching of the Ineffable

Tamara Albertini, Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Undergraduate Certificate of Islamic Studies, University of Hawai’i at Manoa April 16, 7 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center   The female Muslim mystic Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya (d. 801) is widely considered one of the most influential mystics of Sufism, as she was primarily responsible for redirecting the spirit of early Sufism away from the path…

Photo courtesy of the USHMM

Kabbalah, Language, and Transcendental Mysteries

Steven Katz, Alvin J. and Shirley Slater Chair of Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Boston University Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center The Jewish mystical tradition, like all mystical traditions, has had to deal with the issue of language and the communication of mystical experience. In responding to this basic issue, Jewish mystics did not emphasize ineffability. Instead, they…