Ideas in Motion in Baghdad and Beyond

Philosophical and Theological Exchanges between Christians and Muslims in the Third/Ninth and Fourth/Tenth Centuries


This volume contains a collection of articles focusing on the philosophical and theological exchanges between Muslim and Christian intellectuals living in Baghdad during the classical period of Islamic history, when this city was a vibrant center of philosophical, scientific, and literary activity. The philosophical accomplishments and contribution of Christians writing in Arabic and Syriac represent a crucial component of Islamic society during this period, but they have typically been studied in isolation from the development of mainstream Islamic philosophy. The present book aims for a more integrated approach by exploring case studies of philosophical and theological cross-pollination between the Christian and Muslim traditions, with an emphasis on the Baghdad School and its main representative, Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī.

Contributors: Carmela Baffioni, David Bennett, Gerhard Endress, Damien Janos, Olga Lizzini, Ute Pietruschka, Alexander Treiger, David Twetten, Orsolya Varsányi, John W. Watt, Robert Wisnovsky

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Damien Janos (PhD, McGill University, 2009) has worked for several years as a postdoctoral researcher in Canadian and German institutions. His research focuses primarily on the history of Arabic philosophy and especially on the works of al-Fārābī and Avicenna.
"There are rich seams in the essays gathered here, and specialists in medieval philosophy (in the main) will benefit from them… What they make undeniably clear is that the lines of continuity from the intellectual world of the pre-Islamic past remained strong and unbroken, despite all of the political and religious upheavals that might have disrupted or broken them... Shihadeh’s painstaking efforts in this study-cum-edition have finally supplied scholars with the missing first episode in the long story of the commentary tradition on Ibn Sīnā’s Ishārāt."
David Thomas in Nazariyat, 3.1 (2016).

“…this collection of papers, edited by Damien Janos, …represents a significant milestone: Janos’ own paper is probably the most interesting article ever published on Abū Bišr Mattā, founder of the Baghdad school, and there are several important studies of Ibn ʿAdī as well. These investigations of the Baghdad Peripatetics are contextualized with pieces on the wider development of Christian thought.”
Peter Adamson in IHIW, 5 (2017).

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