The Avicennan aestimatio in Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Theory of Talismanic Action at a Distance


Abstract
In al-Sirr al-Maktūm, a magisterial work on astral magic, the twelfth century Persian philosopher-theologian Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī formulated one of the most sophisticated theories of talismanic action at a distance ever produced in the Islamic world. Al-Rāzī deployed Avicennan psychology to explain how a practitioner’s soul might connect with the celestial spheres, the principles of sublunary change, and ‘blend’ their forces into a talismanic metal idol; then, performing a ritual mimetic of his intended effect, could direct these forces to bring about his objective, from a distance, altering sublunary phenomena in accordance with his will. In constructing this theory, Rāzī drew on the psychologizing Avicennan accounts of thaumaturgy and veridical dreams, foregrounding what was common to both: the internal sense known as the wahm.
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DOI 10.1484/J.BPM.5.115830
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On Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi's Life and the Patronage He Received.F. Griffel - 2007 - Journal of Islamic Studies 18 (3):313-344.

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