Miracles as Transforming Invitations to Wonder & Gratitude: An Islamic Perspective

Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu
Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, St. Joseph’s University
Thursday, October 5, 7:00 p.m.
Sussman Theater, Olmsted Center, Drake University

Miracle stories in the Quran interrupt our familiarity with the world. In fact, the Quran (not unlike other scriptures) shocks us with stories like that of virgin birth, instant healing with touch, fire not burning and a staff becoming a serpent. Why? This talk will suggest that these miracle stories in the Quran are in fact transformative invitations to wonder & gratitude. In making this point, the talk will make use of two insightful Islamic theologians, Ghazali (11th century) and Nursi (20th century), with a focus on their approach to the Quran, natural order, and human life.


Professor Yazicioglu’s research is on interpretation of the Quran in the contemporary age, Islamic theology and spirituality, with a focus on the works of a significant Muslim theologian, Said Nursi. Her book Understanding Quranic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age (Penn State University Press, 2013) brings Muslim thinkers into conversation with Western thinkers. She is also a team member of an Islamic spirituality non-profit, Receiving Nur. Yazicioglu holds an MA in Islam & Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary and a PhD in Religious Studies from University of Virginia.

Video of the Lecture

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