Eternal world and God’s free will in Islam—A diachronic perspective

“When I began to become interested in Islamic philosophy, which was in the early 1990s, the eternity of the world was considered the most important philosophical question that was discussed by Muslim philosophers and their adversaries,” began Frank Griffel (Yale University) as he introduced the members, guests, students, and scholars to the two-day symposium, “Eternal World and God’s Free Will in Islam—A Diachronic Perspective,” on March 31-April 1. Convened and created by Griffel, this symposium focused more on asking critical questions regarding Islamic theological claims, than providing concrete answers. In the same way that the Sufi mystics tell us that God often reveals himself in a divine mystery, so too did this symposium embrace both curiosity and wonder as worthy and worthwhile intellectual responses to complex problems regarding necessity, creation, and existence.