Here is the English abstract of Raziyeh Sirousi (Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic Teachings, Zahedan Branch, Farhangian University, Iran)'s presentation at the 6nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in University of Birjand, Iran on December 4, 2023.
The Methodological Approach of the Debates of Imam Reza
As a debate is held for the sake of correct understanding, and the two sides of the debate try to point out the ambiguous claims of the other side with all their cleverness, research in this matter usually helps in understanding deep and complex issues. In this regard, the debates that the Imams have had with their religious opponents on various religious issues make it easier to understand the authentic Shiite school. The debates of Imam Reza, due to his strong political and social presence of in society, have a special importance that can be studied from different dimensions. Responding to religious doubts and questions is one of these aspects. Researchers can provide a comprehensive and correct framework for the principles of debate with opponents by considering the content and methods of the Imam in his debates. In the present research, the methodological bases of Imam Reza in his debates were examined. The main question is: What logical methods did the Imam use for debating with religious opponents? In response to the above question, the hypothesis is that Imam used three methods of syllogism, induction, and analogy in the debates. Among them, the most frequent is the demonstration, which is considered the main type of syllogism. Inductive reasoning has also been used in both its complete and incomplete forms in the debate with Muslims, and that was when Imam Reza would argue based on the verses of the Qur'an. The analogical form has also been used more in the concepts related to monotheism which are abstract and require to be likened to sensible matters.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi