Dr Kelly James Clark, Senior Research Fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, was hosted by Kalam Research and Media (KRM) during his visit to Amman from Sunday 12th December to Tuesday 14th December as part of its Kalam Glossary project. The Kalam Glossary is currently under production and it is a bi-lingual (English and Arabic) online glossary of 400 terms from kalam, traditional logic (mantiq), and legal theory (usul al-fiqh), explained in light of the theological and philosophical debates around those terms in the kalam tradition, and brought into connection with contemporary analytic philosophy.
Dr Clark is working closely with KRM to make modern philosophical connections with each term included in the kalam glossary. During his visit, he met Dr. Saeed Foudeh, a leading kalam theologian who is playing a key role in the traditional traditional kalam part of the Kalam Glossary project, as well as various members of the KRM theological team. He worked closely with Dr Saeed Foudeh, Hamza Karamali and Abdurrahman Mihirig and discussed in depth a glossary entry on arguments for divine oneness (tawhid) and offered his reactions as an analytic philosopher. Such a philosophical exchange is a process that has been ongoing for over two months and the goal of this visit was to consolidate the collegial work and engagement between Muslim and Christian theologians and philosophers. Kelly, Saeed Foudeh, Hamza, Abdurrahman, and several other philosophers and theologians will continue collaborate for the next 6 months until the glossary is completed.
During his visit Kelly recorded an interview with KRM’s media team (Hayes Blanchard) on the contribution of Alvin Plantinga and and his importance to philosophy in general and Islamic theology in particular.
His KRM-sponsored visit also included a lecture on the cognitive psychology of religion to a group of Jordanian university students as well as a visit to Biblical sites of common Muslim-Christian heritage.