In all the current alienating discourse on Islam as a source of extremism and fanatic violence this new publication takes a timely and refreshing look at the traditions of Islamic mysticism, philosophy and intellectual debate in a series of diverse and stimulating approaches. It tackles the major figures of Islamic thought as well as shedding light on hitherto unconsidered aspects of Islam utilizing new source material. The contributors are impressive list of scholars and experts.
This book is concerned with the rationality and plausibility of the Muslim faith and the Quran, and in particular how they can be interogated and understood through western analytical philosophy. It is also explores how Islam can successfully engage with the challenges posed by secular thinking. The Quran and the Secular Mind will be of interest to students and scholars of Islamic philosophy, philosophy of religion, Middle East studies, and political Islam.
Journeys of Ghazali and Averroes to their diverse conceptions of the role of reason -- From the chimera of philosophy to the evidence of "the just balance" -- The decisive criterion of the distinction between islam and hypocrisy (zandaqa) -- Averroes, philospher-reader of the precious book -- Reorganization of the world according to Aristotle in the light of Qurʼanic revelation by Averroes -- Ghazali and Averroes in Muslim society.
Biography of Ibn Rushd ... Averroes, old heathen, If only you had been right, if Intellect Itself were absolute law, sufficient grace. Our lives could be a myth of captivity. Which we might enter: an unpeopled region.
The Islamic philosophical tradition was the privileged site for the study and continuation of the Classical philosophical tradition in the Middle Ages. An initial chapter on the history of Islamic philosophy sets the stage for sixteen articles on issues across the Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions. The goal is to see the Islamic tradition in its own richness and complexity as the context of much Jewish intellectual work. Taken together, these two traditions provide the wider context to which Latin (...) Christian intellectuals would turn. The articles are grouped under six topics relevant both to the period and to current philosophical interest: the Islamic philosophical context, the nature of philosophy in the Middle Ages, Neoplatonism and the activity of the soul, creation, virtue, and the Latin reception. Since the nineteenth century Islamic and Jewish philosophy have been neglected in the standard histories of medieval philosophy. The time is right to begin to write a more balanced history of medieval philosophy. In order to begin to write this history, this book focuses on the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian use of - and reaction to - Classical philosophy during the Middle Ages. (shrink)
Islam, one of the worlds great faiths, was born as a result of the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (c. 570-632) in Arabia. A proper understanding of the Islamic present depends on an accurate knowledge of the way in which Islamic thought developed from medieval times onwards. For instance, Islam evolved a sophisticated theology and set of philosophical systems of its own, which owed something to the impact of Greek thought, but became uniquely Islamic because (...) of the vital presence within that faith of the Quran. Furthermore, Islam soon came into contact with Greek philosophy and science, and a translation movement into Arabic began. The roles of Kason and Revelation, and the primacy that was to be given to one or the other, came to the fore. Problems which had also vexed Christianity such as anthropomorphism, free will and predestination provided intellectual stimulation for Islamic thinkers, while the mystical impulse, articulated in Islamic Sufism, imbued the writings of several of the theologians and philosophers considered in these volumes. Taken together, all of these issues constitute a golden period of Islamic debate and intellectual inquiry, and the articles collected in this fascinating set reflect that Islamic dynamic. (shrink)
The Umayyad period. The beginnings of sectarianism ; The Khārijites ; The Shīʻtes ; The Murjiʼites and other moderates -- The first wave of Hellenism 750-950. The historical background ; The translators and the first philosophers ; The expansion of Shīʻism ; The Muʻtazilites ; The consolidation of Sunnism ; Al-Ashʻarī -- The second wave of Hellenism 950-1258. The historical background ;The flowering of philosophy ; The vicissitudes of Shīʻism ; The progress of Sunnite theology ; Al-Ghazālī ; Sunnite (...) theology from 1100 to 1250 ; Theology and philosophy in the Islamic west -- The period of darkness. The historical background ; The sclerosis of philosophical theology ; The vitality of the Ḥanbalites ; The transformation of Shīʻism -- The new dawn. The prospect for theology. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion and theology are related to the culture in which they have developed. These disciplines provide a source of values and vision to the cultures of which they are part, while at the same time they are delimited and defined by their cultures. This book compares the ideas of two contemporary philosophers, John Hick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, on the issues of religion, religions, the concept of the ultimate reality, and the notion of sacred knowledge. On (...) a broader level, it compares two world-views: the one formed by Western Christian culture, which is religious in intention but secular in essence; the other Islamic, formed through the assimilation of traditional wisdom, which is turned against the norms of secular culture and is thus religious both in intention and essence. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the methodological issues related to the obstacles and potential horizons of approaching the philosophical traditions in Islam from the standpoint of comparative studies in philosophy, while also presenting selected case-studies that may potentially illustrate some of the possibilities of renewing the impetus of a philosophical thought that is inspired by Islamic intellectual history. This line of inquiry is divided into two parts: the first deals with questions of methodology, and the second focuses on ontology (...) and phenomenology of perception, by way of offering pathways in investigating the history of philosophical and scientific ideas in Islam from the viewpoint of contemporary debates in philosophy. A special emphasis will be placed on: (a) interpreting the ontology of the eleventh century metaphysician Ibn Sīnā (known in Latin as: Avicenna; d. 1037 CE) in terms of rethinking Heidegger’s critique of the history of metaphysics, and (b) analyzing the philosophical implications of the theory of vision of the eleventh century polymath Ibn al-Haytham (known in Latin as Alhazen; d. ca. 1041 CE) in terms of reflecting on Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception. (shrink)
The central debate of natural theology among medieval Muslims and Jews concerned whether or not the world was eternal. Opinions divided sharply on this issue because the outcome bore directly on God's relationship with the world: eternity implies a deity bereft of will, while a world with a beginning leads to the contrasting picture of a deity possessed of will. In this exhaustive study of medieval Islamic and Jewish arguments for eternity, creation, and the existence of God, Herbert Davidson provides (...) a systematic classification of the proofs, analyzes and explains them, and traces their sources in Greek philosophy. Throughout the study, Davidson tries to take into account every argument of a philosophical character, disregarding only those arguments that rest entirely on religious faith or which fall below a minimal level of plausibility. (shrink)
This contribution is a presentation of the encounter between Greek philosophy and Islam and of the way in which philosophical thought was consequently appropriated by the Muslim world. What made this encounter possible was the existence, within the Muslim world, of a spirit of openness able to overcome the fear of a ‘pagan’ thought: this spirit helped develop the position that Greek philosophy, qua wisdom, could not be ‘foreign’ to the universe of the Koran. The Arabic language, (...) as it became a philosophical language, bears traces of such an appropriation. Today, in Africa, the debate on philosophy could usefully take into account the tradition of Islamic philosophy which is also African to some extent and which would help enlighten, in particular, the question of transforming African tongues into philosophical languages. (shrink)
Review of Avital Wohlman, Al-Ghazali, Averroës and the Interpretation of the Qur'an: Common Sense and Philosophy in Islam, Translated by David Burrell Content Type Journal Article Pages 637-639 DOI 10.1007/s11841-010-0207-3 Authors Scott Girdner, Western Kentucky University, 1906 college Heights Blvd., Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA Journal Sophia Online ISSN 1873-930X Print ISSN 0038-1527 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, Number 4.
This book investigates the central role of reason in Islamic intellectual life. Despite widespread characterization of Islam as a system of belief based only on revelation, John Walbridge argues that rational methods, not fundamentalism, have characterized Islamic law, philosophy and education since the medieval period. His research demonstrates that this medieval Islamic rational tradition was opposed by both modernists and fundamentalists, resulting in a general collapse of traditional Islamic intellectual life and its replacement by more modern but far (...) shallower forms of thought. However, the resources of this Islamic scholarly tradition remain an integral part of the Islamic intellectual tradition and will prove vital to its revival. The future of Islam, Walbridge argues, will be marked by a return to rationalism. (shrink)
Abu Hamid al Ghazali, one of the most famous intellectuals in the history of Islam, developed a definition of Unbelief (kufr) to serve as the basis for determining who, in theological terms, should be considered a Muslim and who should not. Jackson's annotated translation is preceded by an introduction that reconstructs the historical and theoretical context of the Faysal and discusses its relevance for contemporary thought and practice.
Islamic philosophy is a unique and fascinating form of thought, and particular interest lies in its classical (Greek-influenced) period, when many of the ideas of Greek philosophy were used to explore the issues and theoretical problems which arise in trying to understand the Qur'an and Islamic practice. In this revised and expanded edition of his classic introductory work, Oliver Leaman examines the distinctive features of Classical Islamic philosophy and offers detailed accounts of major individual thinkers. In contrast (...) to many previous studies that have treated this subject as only of historical interest, he offers analysis of the key arguments within Islamic philosophy so that the reader can engage with them and assess their strengths and weaknesses. His book will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, religious studies and Islamic studies. (shrink)
This book is a collection of Shahid Murtada Mutahhari’s essential papers on philosophy, theology, ‘irfan (Islamic mysticism), usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) and morality. The six parts together serve as both a comprehensive survey of the fundamentals of different branches of Islamic studies and a general guide to understanding the basic teachings of Islam.
This book is an introduction to debates in philosophy within the medieval Islamic world. It discusses a number of themes which were controversial within the philosophical community of that period: the creation of the world out of nothing, immortality, resurrection, the nature of ethics, and the relationship between natural and religious law. The author provides an account of the arguments of Farabi, Avicenna, Ghazali, Averroes and Maimonides on these and related topics. His argument takes into account the significance of (...) the conflict between faith and reason, religion and philosophy. The book sets out to show how interesting these philosophical debates are, and criticizes the view that these arguments are of no more than historical interest. (shrink)
This book introduces the work of an important medieval Islamic philosopher who is little known outside the Persian world. Afdal al-Din Kashani was a contemporary of a number of important Muslim thinkers, including Averroes and Ibn al-Arabi. Kashani did not write for advanced students of philosophy but rather for beginners. In the main body of his work, he offers especially clear and insightful expositions of various philosophical positions, making him an invaluable resource for those who would like to learn (...) the basic principles and arguments of this philosophical tradition but do not have a strong background in philosophy. Here, Chittick uses Kashani and his work to introduce the basic issues and arguments of Islamic philosophy to modern readers. (shrink)
Islamic Philosophy has often been treated as mainly of historical interest, belonging to the history of ideas rather than to philosophy. This is volume challenges this belief. The Routledge History of Philosophy is made up entirely of essays by a distinguished list of writers. They provide detailed discussions of the most important thinkers and the key concepts in Islamic philosophy, from earliest times to the present day. Fifty authors from over sixteen countries have contributed to this (...) volume. Each Together the authors represent a wide variety of views. It includes analysis of Arabic, Persian, Indian, Jewish, Turkish and South East Asian Philosophy, together with extensive discussion of relevant areas of Greek and Western philosophy. An important but so far little understood philosophical tradition is clearly and thoroughly explored in this volume. Islamic philosophy is viewed as a continuing and lively philosophical activity, one which is just as capable of asking relevant questions today as it was in the past. (shrink)