Islam and Rationality

The Impact of al-Ghazālī. Papers Collected on His 900th Anniversary. Vol. 1


Volume Editor:
This volume offers an account of Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) as a rational theologian who created a symbiosis of philosophy and theology and infused rationality into Sufism. The majority of the papers herein deal with important topics of al-Ghazālī’s work, which demonstrate his rational treatment of the Qurʾān and major subjects of Islamic theology and everyday life of Muslims. Some other contributions address al-Ghazālī’s sources and how his intellectual endeavors were later received by scholars who had the same concern of reconciling religion and rationality within Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

With contributions by Binyamin Abrahamov, Hans Daiber, Ken Garden, Avner Giladi, Scott Girdner, Frank Griffel, Steven Harvey, Alfred Ivry, Jules Janssens, Taneli Kukkonen, Luis Xavier López-Farjeat, Wilferd Madelung, Yahya M. Michot, Yasien Mohamed, Eric Ormsby, M. Sait Özervarlı, and Hidemi Takahashi.

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Georges Tamer, PhD (2000), Freie Universität Berlin, is Professor of Oriental Philology and Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He has published extensively on the Qurʾān, Qurʾānic hermeneutics, Arabic philosophy and its reception in modern times, rational discourses in Islam, and interreligious relationships.

Table of Contents

Georges Tamer

Hans Daiber
God versus Causality: al-Ghazālī’s Solution and its Historical Background

Wilferd Madelung
Al-Ghazālī’s Changing Attitude to philosophy

Binyamin Abrahamov
Al-Ghazālī and the Rationalization of Sufism

Georges Tamer
Revelation, Sciences and Symbolism: Al-Ghazālī’s Jawāhir al-Qurʾān

Frank Griffel
Al-Ghazālī at His Most Rationalist: The Universal Rule for Allegorically Interpreting Revelation (al-Qānūn al-kullī fī t-taʾwīl)

Eric Ormsby
The Comedy of Reason: Strategies of Humour in al-Ghazālī

Taneli Kukkonen
Al-Ghazālī on the Emotions

Avner Giladi
Sex, Marriage and the Family in Al-Ghazālī’s Thought: Some Preliminary Notes

Yasien Mohamed
The Duties of the Teacher: al-Iṣfahānī’s Dharīʿa as a source of inspiration for al-Ghazālī’s Mīzān al-ʿamal

Ken Garden
Revisiting al-Ghazālī’s Crisis through his Scale for Action (Mizān al-ʿamal)

Luis Xavier López-Farjeat
Al-Ghazālī on Knowledge (‘ilm) and Certainty (yaqīn) in al-Munqidh min aḍ-ḍalāl and in al-Qisṭās al-mustaqīm

Scott Girdner
Ghazālī’s hermeneutics and their reception in Jewish Tradition:
Mishkāt al-Anwār (The Niche of Lights) and Maimonides’ Shemonah Peraqim
(Eight Chapters)

Alfred Ivry
Al-Ghazālī, Averroes and Moshe Narboni: Conflict and Conflation

Steven Harvey
The Changing Image of al-Ghazālī in Medieval Jewish Thought

Hidemi Takahashi
The Influence of al-Ghazālī on the Juridical, Theological and Philosophical Works of Barhebraeus

Jules Janssens
R. Marti and His References to al-Ghazālī

Yahya M. Michot
Al-Ghazālī’s Esotericism according to Ibn Taymiyya’s Bughyat al-Murtād

M. Sait Özervarlı
Arbitrating between al-Ghazālī and the Philosophers:
The Tahāfut Commentaries in the Ottoman Intellectual Context


All interested in Islamic intellectual history, theology, and Arabic philosophy, and particularly in the relationship between Islam and rationality.
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