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Solomon and the Ant: A Qur’anic Story of Perspective

Friday, October 7, 2016
10:00 am
at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Benton Chapel
Nashville , TN

Cole Lectures

Vanderbilt University Divinity School announces the 2016 Cole Lectures to be delivered by

Ingrid Mattson

London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies
Huron University College at Western University

<2h>Solomon and the Ant: A Qur’anic Story of Perspective

The root of much sin is our refusal to acknowledge our limitations and assert our perspective to be superior to all others, or perhaps, more insidiously, to act as if we are neutral actors, that we have no perspective at all; in other words, when we identify reality with our own perspective. It is this attitude that is at the root of much oppression and violence in the world, and it is here that an authentic religious perspective is critical to peace building. For it is only God whose perspective can be identified with reality; the narrative and outlook of each human being and each human community is limited by time and space – by the fact that we are of the created world. To recognize this essential distinction between the Creator and the creation is to assert the inescapable truth of the human condition as limited, constrained, and in need of others. To take into account the perspective of others is not political correctness, it is a rejection of self-idolotry. This is the lesson at the heart of the Qur’anic story of Solomon and the ant.

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