Dr. Özgür Koca

Bayan Claremont / Claremont School of Theology
Islamic Studies and Philosophy

Appointments

2016-Present
Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies/Development Coordinator
Bayan Claremont/Claremont School of Theology

2013-2016
Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies
Bayan Claremont/Claremont School of Theology

2012-2013
Adjunct Professor in Religious Studies
Claremont Lincoln University

2003-2007
Physics/Mathematics Teacher
Magnolia Science Academy

Education

2009-2013
Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology,
Claremont Graduate University,
Thesis: Said Nursi’s Synthesis of Ash’arite Occasionalism and Ibn ‘Arabȋ’s Metaphysical Cosmology: “Diagonal Occasionalism,” Modern Science, and Free Will.” Advised by Philip Clayton, Zayn Kassam, and Ahmad Alwishah

August 2010
M.A. in Philosophy,
Fatih University, Istanbul Turkey.
Thesis: Al Ghazali`s Account of Causality and Its Implications for Contemporary Religion and Science Discussion. Advised by Alparslan Acikgenc, Sengul Celik, and Ertugrul Gundogan.

June 1999
B.S. in Physics,
Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Areas Of Specilization

Islamic Philosophy, Islamic Theology, Islamic Spirituality, Modern Religion and Science Discussion, Comparative Spirituality.


Areas Of Competence

Contemporary Islamic Movements and Ideologies, Environmental Ethics and Religion, Interreligious Dialogue, Intra-Religious Dialogue.

Books

Islam, Causality, and Freedom: From the Medieval to the Modern Era
Cambridge University Press (Monograph-Under Contract)
Forthcoming in May, 2020.

Sectarian Peace/Violence in Religions
(edited volume, under submission)

Islamic Doctrines of Causality and Modern Science
Lap Lambert Academic Publishing, 2013

Awards

Fisher Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Bayan Claremont/Claremont School of Theology 2015
Nursi Studies Distinguished Scholar Award, Istanbul Science and Culture Foundation, March 2014

Languages

Turkish (Native)
English (Fluent)
Ottoman Turkish (Reading)
Arabic (Reading)
Spanish (Reading)
Persian (Intermediate-reading)

Teaching Experience

2013-Present
Claremont, Bayan Claremont/ Claremont School of Theology

2012-2013
Claremont, Claremont Lincoln University

2003-2007
Los Angeles, Magnolia Science Academy

1999-2003
Azerbaijan, Sumgayit Private Turgut Ozal High School


Courses Taught In Religion/Philosophy

 Islamic Theology and Philosophy
Survey of Islamic Philosophy, Theology, and Mysticism
Global Islamic Movements and Ideologies
Muslim Spirituality Among World Religions
The Qur’an: Composition, Collection and Teachings
Islam and Mysticism
Islamic Ethics
Islam, Science, and Art
Abrahamic Faiths in Conversation
Medieval Encounters: Ghazali, Aquinas, and Maimonides (2020)

 

Courses Taught In Experimental Sciences

Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry)
Physics (Classic/Modern)
Astronomy
Chemistry

Papers

 “Shihab ad-Din Suhrawardi on Causality and Freedom”
Philosophy East and West, (Forthcoming 2020)

“Islamic Occasionalism in the Context of the Contemporary Religion and Science Discussion”
Theology and Science (Forthcoming 2020)

“The Idea of Causal Disproportionality in Said Nursî (1877-1960) and Its Implications” Journal of Islamic Philosophy, Vol 11 (2019), p. 5-32.

“Revisiting the Concepts of Necessity and Freedom in Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) (c. 980-1037)”
Sophia, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11841-019-0706-9

“The World as a Theophany and Causality: Ibn ʿArabī, Causes, and Freedom”
Sophia, 2017, 10.1007/s11841-017-0621-x

“Ibn Arabi and Rumi on Theodicy: Discontinuties in Sufi Metaphysics”
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol 28, Issue 4, (Dec 2016), p. 1-19.

“Causality as a “Veil”: the Ash’arites, ibn ʿArabî (1165-1240), and Said Nursi (1877-1960)”
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol 27, Issue 4, (June 2016), p. 455-470

“Said Nursi’s (1876-1960) Analysis on the Exegetical Significance of the Divine Names” Journal of Scriptural Reasoning, Vol 14, No.2, p. 43-55

“Whitehead and Ibn ‘Arabi: On the Possibility of a Dialogue”
Process Journal, 44.2, Fall-Winter 2015, p. 270-281

“Fethullah Gulen’s Construction of “the Other”
Journal of Dialogue Studies, Vol 3, No 2, 2015, p. 11-27

“Thoughts on al-Ghazali’s Heritage”
Journal of Traditional Thought (Muhafazakar Dusunce Dergisi), Vol 44, (June 2015), pp. 113-132.

“Islam and Violence: When “From Within” Meets “From Without””
Science, Culture and Religion, Vol. 2, Issue 1, (March 2015), pp. 17-20

“The Prophet of Islam – Muhammad and Environmental Activism”
Claremont Journal of Religion, Vol. 1, Issue 2, (January 2012), pp. 126-135

“From Process to God: A Muslim’s Critical Engagement with Charles Hartshorne”
Journal of Islamic Studies (ISAM) Vol. 26 (2011), pp. 81-92

 

Manuscripts Under Submission

“A Critique of Kant’s Critique of the Ontological and Cosmological Arguments: “What If Existence Precedes Essence?”
Journal of Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations.

“A Phenomenology of Causality in the Context of the Contemporary Religion and Science Discussion ”
Journal of Theology and Science.

Manuscripts Under Preparation

“Sayyad Sharif al-Jurjani: Developments in Islamic Occasionalism in Later Islamic Thought”
(will be submitted to Islam and Muslim Christian Relations)

“Ibn Rushd on the Concept of Wujud: Continuities between Islamic Philosophy and Sufism”
(will be submitted to Sophia)

Book Chapters

 “Introduction”
Sectarian peace/Violence in Religions: The Middle East and the Globe, ed. Ozgur Koca (under submission, 2020)

“Sectarian Violence from the Perspective of Philosophy of Religion”
Sectarian peace/Violence in Religions: The Middle east and the Globe, ed. Ozgur Koca (under submission, 2020)

“Thomas Merton on Spirituality and Social Activism”
A Muslim Sage Among Peers, ed. John Barton (Blue Dome Press, 2017) p. 42-66

“Occasionalism in a Contemporary Context” with Douglas Kutasch,
Occasionalism East and West: New Essays on the Occasionalist Vision of Causality from the Islamic and Western Traditions ed. Nazif Muhtaroglu (Kalam Media and Research Center, 2017)

“The Metaphysics of Causation in Ibn Arabi and Occasionalism”,
Occasionalism East and West: New Essays on the Occasionalist Vision of Causality from the Islamic and Western Traditions ed. Nazif Muhtaroglu (Kalam Media and Research Center, 2017) p. 41-60

“Late Ottoman Occasionalism and Modern Science,” with Nazif Muhtaroglu,
Occasionalism East and West: New Essays on the Occasionalist Vision of Causality from the Islamic and Western Traditions ed. Nazif Muhtaroglu (Kalam Media and Research Center, 2017), p. 83-104

“Is Islamism More Prone to Violence?”
Muslim Perspectives on Islamic Extremism (Rethink Institute, 2016) pp.11-18

“Islam and Violence: When “From Within” Meets “From Without””
Islam, Culture, and the Charlie Hebdo Affair (Smith and Franklin, 2015) eBook Chapter 6.

“Islamic Spirituality: Doctrines and Practices”
A Companion on the Journey: Providing Spiritual Guidance for People of Various Religious Traditions (Skylight Paths Publishing, 2014) pp. 34-45

“An Attempt at Understanding the Gulen (Hizmet) Movement`s Vision of Itself”
East and West Encounters: The Gulen (Hizmet) Movement, Conference Proceedings, (Los Angeles, 2009) pp. 85-97.

 

 Book Reviews

 Religious Secularity: A Theological Challenge to the Islamic State, Nasar Ghobadzadeh, Oxford University Press, 2015.
Politics and Religion, December 2015. Vol 9/ Issue 1. P.217-219

Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question. Mohammed Hassan Khalil: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
the Journal of Religious History, December 2015, Vol 39/Issue 4. P. 620-622.

So That Others May Live; Erkan Kurt; Bludome Press, 2013.
Hizmet Review, May 2015. Issue 3. P. 75-77.

 Academic Journal Editorial Board

American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
Journal of Islamic Philosophy
Science, Culture, and Religion
The Journal of Dialogue Studies

 Conference Presentations

“An Attempt at Understanding the Gulen (Hizmet) Movement`s Vision of Itself”
University of Southern California. Conference: East and West Encounters: The Gulen Movement, Los Angeles, December 2009.

“Al-Ghazali`s Account of Causality and Its Implications for Contemporary Religion and Science Discussion”
Claremont Graduate University. SPARC, The Society for Philosophy and Religion in Claremont: Third Annual Live Option Conference, March 2011.

“Said Nursi’s Metaphysics of Action: The Ontology of the Divine Self‐Disclosure and the All-Pervasive Movement,
John Carroll University: Challenges to Contemporary Islam: The Muslim World 100 Years After Said Nursi`s Damascus Sermon, October 2011

“A Preliminary Survey on Sufi Metaphysics and Peace”
Claremont Graduate University. Your Beliefs Are Killing Me! Interdisciplinary Approaches to Religion and Violence, November 2011

 “The Construction of the Other in Gulen`s Thought”
San Jose State University. Engaging the Other, 6th International Conference, December 2011 (Invited).

 “An Islamic Expression of Popular Religiosity: Meet the World’s First Muslim Superheroes, “The 99”
Claremont Graduate University. Fifth Annual Religion in Conversation Conference: Religion and Popular Culture: Navigating the Sacred and Profane in American Popular Culture, February 2012

“Experiential Reasoning of Revelation: Al-Ghazali’s Qur’anic Contextualization of Mystical Experience in al-Munqidh min al-dalal (Rescuer from Error)”
Trevecca Nazarene University. Curb Your Enthusiasm: Philosophy and Religious Experience, March 2012.

“Said Nursi`s Analysis of the Relationship of the Divine Names and the Content of the Qur`an”
American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Santa Clara University: Sacred Texts and Sacred Communities, March 2012.

 “Muhammad as an Environmental Activist”
Claremont Lincoln University. A More Perfect Union: A Religious Assessment of the American Experience, April 2012.

 “The Metaphysics of Unity in Diversity: The Ontology of Divine Self-Disclosure and Peace
Albania Beder University. International Conference on Humanities: Spiritual Quest in Humanities, Albania, May 2012 (Invited).

 “Spiritual Dimensions of Peace Building,” Panel Chair,
Claremont Lincoln University, Muslim Perspectives on Peace Building, Oct 12.

 “Islamic Theodicies and Politics,”
Arizona State University. American Academy of Religion (AAR) WEST, March 2012.

“Ibn Arabi’s Theory of Causality and Occasionalism,”
Harvard University. Occasionalism: East and West Conference, May 2012

“The Hizmet Movement on “the Other”,”
University of Toronto. Canada, July 2013

“Said Nursi’s Account of the Divine Names and Ethics”
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India, March 2014

“The Fundamentals of Said Nursi’s Thought: A Short Introduction”
Jawarhal Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, March 2014

“Sectarian Violence and Peace in Islam,”Chair,
Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate Institute, Los Angeles, April 2015

“Islam Responses to Ecological Crisis”
Pomona College, Pandopupulus Conference, June 2015

“Sufi Metaphysics, Whitehead, and Environment”
Pomona College, June 2015

“The Global Peacebuilding Activities of The Hizmet Movement,”
The Parliament of World Religions, Utah, Oct 2015.

“Spiritual Jihad and Religion-and-Science Discussion”
John Carroll University, Cleveland, Nov 2015

“Islamism: Is the Cave Empty?”
Rethink Institute, Washington DC, Dec 2015

“Sufi Metaphysics and Modern Philosophy: What are the Points of Contacts?”
North East Turkish-American (NETA) Scholars Workshop, Boston, December 2015.

“Islam and Science: The Challenges and Promises”
Respect Graduate School, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, March 2016

“Knowing, Not Knowing, and Violence”
University of San Diego, San Diego, March 2016

“Metaphysics, Islam, and Science,”
Respect Graduate School, Bethlehem, September 2016

“Islamic Spirituality and Its Relevance,”
University of the West, Los Angeles, September 2016

“Islamic Metaphysical Tradition and Muslim Youth’s Intellectual and Spiritual Formation”
Respect Graduate School, Bethlehem, October 2017

“A response to ” Modernism and Humanism in Sayyad Ahmad Khan’s Thought”
Claremont Graduate University, Islamic Studies Conference, Los Angeles, April 2018

“Construction of Modern Muslim Identities: The Question of Reform”
Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate Institute, Construction of Modern Muslim Identities Conference, April 2019

 Conferences Organized

 East and West Encounters: The Gulen Movement, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, co-sponsored by Santa Monica College, Loyola Marymount University, Humboldt University and Whittier College, December 4-6, 2009.

Family in Transition, Loyola Marymount University, co-sponsored by California State University-Long Beach, April 23, 2010

Sectarian Violence in Religions, Bayan Claremont/Claremont School of Theology, April 17-18, 2015

Islam, Change and Modern Muslim Identities: Rethinking the Question of Reform, Bayan Claremont/Claremont School of Theology, April 26-27, 2019

Panels And Sessions Organized

 Anatolian Culture Festival Panel Series, Orange County, Fair Ground, Pacifica Institute May 2011.

 Islamic Responses to Ecological Crisis, Claremont School of Theology/Center for Process Studies, Jun 4-7, 2015

Peacebuilding in Nigeria, Philippines, and Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Contributions of the Hizmet Movement, The Parliament of World Religions, Utah, Oct 15-19, 2015

“Theological and Philosophical Imperatives for Islamic Reform” in Islam, Change and Modern Muslim Identities: Rethinking the Question of Reform, Bayan Claremont/Claremont School of Theology, April 26-27, 2019

Lectures By Invitation

“The Hizmet (Gulen) Movement: Aspirations and Paradigms,”
California State University-Long Beach (CULB), May 6, 2010

“Fasting as a Perennial Tradition: Thoughts on Ramadan,”
University of Southern California (USC), July 22, 2011

“Judaism and Islam: Theological Possibilities for an Enduring Dialogue,”
University Synagogue, Irvine, California, March 7, 2011

“Perspectives on the Decade after 9/11,”
Pacifica Institute, Los Angeles, California, September 10, 2011

The Hizmet (Gulen) Movement: History and Organizational Structure,”
Islamic Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, March 18, 2012

“Interfaith Dialogue as an Intrinsic Value of the Qur`an,”
The Interfaith Gatherings, Los Angeles, California, May 3, 2012

“Sufism and the Hizmet (Gulen) Movement,”
Interfaith Council of Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 9, 2012.

“Islamic Eschatology, Jesus, and Interfaith Dialogue,”
University of