1st Edition

Design Discourse in Abrahamic Traditions History, Metaphysics, and Science

Edited By E.V.R. Kojonen, Shoaib A. Malik Copyright 2025
    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    Design Discourse in Abrahamic Traditions reconnects discussion of design arguments to its Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history. The ancient idea that there is evidence of purpose in nature remains one of the most debated topics in science and religion, but also one with great potential for inter-religious and interdisciplinary dialogue. This volume revitalizes current discussion by retrieving perspectives from the Abrahamic history of design arguments and engaging them with contemporary ideas. Beginning with the encounter ancient philosophy and creation beliefs, the book proceeds to delve deep into issues ranging from the nature of theological and teleological language to the implications of evolution and evil. This rich exploration showcases how, far from being irrelevant in a post-Humean, post-Darwinian world, design arguments continue to merit both popular-level and academic attention. The volume will be of particular interest to scholars working at the intersection of science and religion, philosophers of religion, and theologians.


    E. V. R. Kojonen & Shoaib A. Malik

    1. The Epistemological Impact of the Argument from Design in Philo of Alexandria

    Ludovica De Luca

    2. Early Christian Design Discourse: Perceiving the Creator through the Creation

    E. V. R. Kojonen

    3. Preaching Design: Theology and Rhetoric of Divine Order in Augustine’s Sermons

    Timo Nisula

    4 Wise Design and the Metaphysics of Natural Evil: Al-Māturīdī’s Divinely Existentiated and Causally Coherent World

    Ramon Harvey and David Solomon Jalajel

    5 Ibn Taymiyya & Design-Discourse – Perceiving Design through the Natural World & Scripture Jamie B. Turner

    6. Neo-Thomism on Evolution

    Ignacio Silva

    7. A Teleological Argument from Natural Selection

    Seth Hart

    8. Design and the Laws of Nature

    Jeffrey Koperski

    9. Design-Argument-Inspired, Midrashic Epistemology of Religion

    Samuel Lebens

    10. Cosmic Fine-Tuning and Biological Design Arguments: Friends, Enemies, or What?

    Hans W. Vodder

    11. An Islamic Engagement with Stephen Meyer’s Return of the God Hypothesis

    Shoaib A. Malik, Mohammed Imran Khan, and Yasmeen Mukadam

    12. From Design to God – What Fine-Tuning Design Arguments Tell Us about the Designer
    Robin Collins


    Erkki Vesa Rope Kojonen is University Lecturer in Systematic Theology at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

    Shoaib Ahmed Malik is Lecturer in Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

    "Sharply focused on the concept of design in nature, how it changed with time and historical context, and how it was distinctively understood in each of the Abrahamic religious traditions, this exciting book will appeal to all seeking global perspectives on arguments of long pedigree." - John Hedley Brooke, Professor of Science and Religion Emeritus, Oxford University, UK  

    "This book accomplishes the remarkable achievement of illuminating, in a new and exhilarating way, age-old questions about the relationships between scientific, religious and philosophical ways of grasping our world. Its splendid chapters, by scholars from different traditions, show the enduring life and appeal of the ancient idea that nature’s intricate order reflects some sort of design and purpose."- Noah J. Efron, Professor of the History & Philosophy of Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

    "Essential reading for anyone interested in the question of whether the natural world is designed by God, this volume provides an invaluable historical, philosophical, and inter-religious contextualisation to these ongoing debates." - Joanna Leidenhag, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy, University of Leeds, UK

    "Design Discourse is a groundbreaking contribution to the ongoing, often contentious, debate about the argument for design.  Incredibly important is the way in which the collection reaches out beyond Christianity to the other Abrahamic religions – Judaism and Islam.  From now on, no one is prepared to enter discussion without having read this book.  The reward is a hugely better discourse than hitherto." - Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Florida State University, USA