Here is the English abstract of Mohammad Hossein Mahdavinejad (Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Payame Noor University in Yazd, Iran) presentation at the 5nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in Yazd University, Iran on November 8, 2023.
Anthropological Foundations of Ethics Based on Imam Reza’s Life (Al-Sīra)
Human beings are two-dimensional, and the existential identity of human beings is contingent on their souls. The soul or inner being of man itself has the areas of cognitive or epistemic, emotional or motivational, and intentional or behavioral. Each of these three areas of the soul has its own ethical indicator. Based on this type of psychology, a fully ethical human being is one who is truth-seeking in the cognitive realm, loving in the emotional realm, and benevolent in the intentional realm. The Imam Reza’s life as a moral and behavioral model of communication with followers of other religions is based on this attitude to human being, which can be seen in the debates of Imam Reza with representatives of the Judaism and Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and others. Respect combined with kindness and tolerance, broad-mindedness, reliance on real common grounds, emphasis on peace and peaceful coexistence with followers of other religions, seeking the truth, benevolence, kindness, compassion, and reform, and being altruist, humble and good-tempered can be inferred as features of Imam Reza’s interaction with followers of other religions. Therefore, the beginning of interfaith dialogue and proximity of religions dates back to the era of the life of Imam Reza. In the view of Imam Reza, a rational religious person or a religious rational person is someone who is expected to be good and people will be safe from his harm; he loves all human beings with all their shortcomings, loves giving service to his fellowmen only because they are his/her fellowmen, likes it for others what he likes for him/herself, and in interfaith dialogue has a just and reasonable behavior based on fairness, humanity, and compassion combined with understanding of the temporal and spatial conditions.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi