Why would the Abrahamic story of creation be true while the others are not? Is the story literal or allegorical? This section begins by introducing different explanations for how the universe was created from around the world, including the modern scientific story of the big bang. Students are invited to think about how they gauge the “truth” of these creation stories, and whether they interpret them literally or metaphorically. Classical Islamic theologians considered these questions too, and proposed mechanisms by which to consider truth claims. We turn to highly influential Islamic theologian from the tenth century, Abū Manṣūr Māturīdī (d. 944 C.E.), to see how he answered.

Take a few minutes to review the slideshow for this section. The PowerPoint summarizes the purpose of this module and the big questions we invite you to think about. We suggest you define the key terms below as you work through the materials.

Key Terms:

  • Allegory
  • Circular Reasoning
  • Human Nature

Thumbnail: “Wishing a Prayer” Eid al Fitr 1432H, Indonesia. Photo Credit: Tanti Ruwani, 2011. CC BY 2.0.

Learning Materials: