Shīʻī renaissance : a case study of the theosophical school of Bahrain in the 7th13th century

Abstract
In the wake of the abolition of the Caliphate in the Islamic world with the advent of the Mongols in the 13th century, Islamic scholarship paradoxically flourished, especially in the Shi'i milieu. This era marked a renaissance which has influenced the course of Shii thought ever since. Through its major thinkers, i.e. Ibn Sa'ada, 'Ali ibn Sulayman and Maytham, the school of Bahrain contributed vigorously to this renaissance by integrating philosophy and mysticism into Shi'ism. Yet, the writings of this school are barely known to modern scholarship and many are still in manuscript form. Drawing upon both published and unpublished sources, this study reveals the importance of this school by offering a descriptive and historical analysis of this intellectual contribution to philosophy, theology and mysticism. It also demonstrates that the school of Bahrain was the first Shii school to derive its rational infra-structure in a unique way from a diversity of sources ranging from the Mu'tazili and Ash'ari theology to the Ibn Sinian philosophy and Ibn al-'Arabis mysticism. Its originality thus lies in its synthetic methodology and its interpretation of Shii literature in light of speculative sciences
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