UINSA Newsroom, Wednesday (20/12/2023); UIN Sunan Ampel (UINSA) Surabaya officially conferred the title of the 88th Professorship to Prof. Dr. H. Achmad Muhibbin Zuhri, M.Ag., in the field of Contemporary Islamic Theology, on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. In his inauguration speech, the Professor from the Faculty of Tarbiyah and Education (FTK) delivered a scholarly oration titled ‘Theology of Diversity: Building Harmony Among Religious Communities with an Islamic Theological Approach.’

Prof. Muhibbin, in his scholarly oration, explained that the theme of Theology of Diversity he advocated is not intended to introduce a new ‘religion’ as done by cross-faith spiritual movements. This theme is an intellectual endeavor by Prof. Muhibbin to understand the concepts of Islamic Theology correctly.

“Because I am confident that by understanding Islamic Theology. Its concepts correctly, properly, can address all human problems. Including the issue of harmony among religious communities,” said Prof. Muhibbin.

The Deputy Dean of Student Affairs and Cooperation at FTK UINSA also explained that Theology that only focuses on conserving religious doctrines will be increasingly abandoned by society. Because it cannot meet the needs, challenges, and current issues of the community. “Therefore, in order to provide or initiate strengthening that conception, I introduced the term Theology of Diversity,” he added.

The premise, according to Prof. Muhibbin, is that if each follower of a religion understands theological concepts well. Then, it will foster a tolerant attitude, an easy acceptance of differences, and will not justify errors against followers of other religions. “This is if all of us, followers of any religion, understand or have the correct Theological concepts,” emphasized Prof. Muhibbin.

There are three bases for the Theology of Diversity, as explained by Prof. Muhibbin. First, the Human Nature that carries the trust and theological consciousness. Second, the Spirit of the Quran emphasizes that humans are one community (ummatan wahidah) and are commanded to understand each other (li ta’arafu). Third, the Will of God creates humans while inherent in them are all differences.

UINSA Rector, Prof. Akh. Muzakki, M.Ag., Grad.Dip.SEA., M.Phil., Ph.D., on this occasion, congratulated the highest academic achievement as a Professor. According to the Rector, this achievement is not only a personal pride but also a blessing for others, an honor for the institution, and goodness for the family,” said Prof. Muzakki.

The theme of Theology of Diversity, according to the Rector, raises awareness of how to bring religious beliefs into the public sphere and provide solutions to the problems faced by the nation. “Our new Professor has made an extraordinary contribution. How Theology and religious beliefs contribute to building harmony amid various differences in the Indonesian national society,” explained Prof. Muzakki.

Present at this inauguration ceremony was the Mayor of Surabaya, Eri Cahyadi, S.T., M.T., along with various invited guests from different pesantrens in East Java. (Nur/Humas)

Editor: Nur Hayati
Photo: MN. Cahaya