Dr. Abdurrazzaq Hesamifar's presentation: Fideism and the Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue
18 February 2024
Dr. Abdurrazzaq Hesamifar's presentation: Fideism and the Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue

Here is the English abstract of Abdurrazzaq Hesamifar (Professor at Imam Khomeini International University)'s presentation at the 10nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in Imam Khomeini International University (Qazvin, Iran) on  December 18, 2023.



Fideism and the Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue

A fideist considers reason to be ineffective in proving religious beliefs, especially the belief in the existence of God, and by abandoning it in a passionate gamble, he accepts religion solely on the basis of faith. But the challenge he/she immediately faces is how, without the help of reason, he can choose one from among the different religions. The fideist's answer is that this choice can be due to different motives, and because personal aspects of people are involved, there is no objective criterion for arguing in this area. So, anyone has the right to be attracted to any religion, and no convincing argument can prove the truth or falsehood of his belief. This view of choosing a religion leads a person to religious pluralism; because when the truth of a religion cannot be proved with rational arguments, all religions will have the same conditions, and thus the fideist, as he/she does not base his/her faith in a particular religion on an argument or evidence, does not expect the faith of the other to be based on argument or evidence. Therefore, the fideist becomes not exclusive but pluralistic, and this pluralism makes him inclined to accept interfaith dialogue. The possibility of interreligious dialogue takes different shapes based on exclusivism or pluralism. An exclusive person only accepts dialogue regarding the common affairs to the both parties, and a pluralistic person, considers the space for dialogue between religions very wide because he/she believes that all religions have the possibility of benefiting from the truth. Therefore, it can be said that interfaith dialogue is more compatible with fideism than with maximum rationalism and critical rationalism. In this article, we will try to show that a person can first believe in a religion on the basis of fideism, but then, on the basis of critical rationalism in the realm of that religion, make his beliefs so compatible that they are not irrational.



Translator: Mahdi Qasemi