Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and the Divine Attributes

Rationalized Traditionalistic Theology


In Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and the Divine Attributes Miriam Ovadia offers a thorough discussion on the hermeneutical methodology applied in the theology of the Ḥanbalite traditionalistic scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 1350), the most prominent disciple of the renowned Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328). Focusing on Ibn al-Qayyim's voluminous – yet so far understudied – work on anthropomorphism, al-Ṣawāʿiq al-Mursala, Ovadia explores his modus operandi in his attack on four fundamental rationalistic convictions, while demonstrating Ibn al-Qayyim's systemization of the Taymiyyan theological doctrine and theoretical discourse. Contextualizing al-Ṣawāʿiq with relevant writings of thinkers who preceded Ibn al-Qayyim, Ovadia unfolds his employment of Kalāmic terminology and argumentations; thus, his rationalized-traditionalistic authoring of a theological manifesto directed against his contemporary Ashʿarite elite of Mamluk Damascus.

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Miriam Ovadia earned her doctorate degree in Islamic Studies, at Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin (2017). Her research concentrates on Islamic theology and Middle Eastern Studies.
"Die Arbeit Ovadias zeichnet sich, soweit es ihre Textanalysen betrifft, durch große Genauigkeit aus. Die Themen der Attributenlehre werden in ihren geistesgeschichtlichen Kontext gestellt, was auch bedeutet, dass die Autorin sich mit Werken anderer sunnitischer Theologen auseinandersetzen musste." Angelika Brodersen, in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 114/4–5 (2019)
Acknowledgments Note on Transliteration and Translation
Introduction: Ibn al-Qayyim’s al-Ṣawāʿiq: A Hostile Response to RationalismIslamic Traditionalistic TheologyIbn Qayyim al-Jawziyya as (an) a (In)dependent ScholarMethodological Lines of the Textual Inquiry
1 The Scholarly Setting of Mamluk Damascus: al-Ṣawāʿiq’s Birthplace  1.1 A Stormy Approach: Ibn Taymiyya on the Issue of Divine Attributes  1.2 Ibn Taymiyya’s View on taʾwīl in Bayān talbīs al-jahmiyya
2 A Stroke of Lightning: al-Ṣawāʿiq in Ibn al-Qayyim’s Theological Writing  2.1 Scope of al-Ṣawāʿiq: The Text and Related Writings  2.2 Al-Ṣawāʿiq within Mamluk Intellectual Literature  2.3 Appropriating the Taymiyyan Discourse in al-Ṣawāʿiq: Ibn al-Qayyim’s Systemization  2.4 Al-Ṣawāʿiq as a Kalām Manual: Ibn al-Qayyim’s Rationalization  2.5 Against taʾwīl: al-Ṣawāʿiq’s Main Argument
3 First ṭāghūt Refutation: The Islamic Scriptures Produce Certain Knowledge  3.1 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Rationalized-Traditionalistic Arguments on Epistemology in al-Ṣawāʿiq I  3.2 Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī on Certain Knowledge: Skepticism  3.3 Ibn Taymiyya’s Initial Critique against al-Rāzī  3.4 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Development: Restoring Optimism
4 Second ṭāghūt Refutation: Revelation is the Provenance of Knowledge  4.1 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Rationalized-Traditionalistic Arguments on Epistemology in al-Ṣawāʿiq II  4.2 Ibn Taymiyya’s Initial Critique against al-Ghazālī (from the View of Ibn al-Qayyim)  4.3 Ibn al-Qayyim on the Epistemological Value of Revelation
5 Third ṭāghūt Refutation: Undermining the Theoretical Basis of majāz  5.1 Prefatory Remarks: The ḥaqīqa/majāz Dichotomy and the Origin of Language  5.2 Ibn Taymiyya’s Critique against majāz  5.3 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Rationalized Hermeneutics  5.4 Attacking the Muʿtazilite Heritage  5.5 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Rational-Traditionalistic Inspiration  5.6 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Recruitment of Ibn Rushd against Taʾwīl
6 Fourth ṭāghūt Refutation: Hadith Literature Produces Certainty  6.1 Ibn Taymiyya on the Validity of ḥadīth al-āḥād  6.2 Ibn al-Qayyim’s Ten Arguments on the Value of ḥadīth al-āḥād  6.3 Structural Aspects of Ibn al-Qayyim’s Rationalization: al-Ṣawāʿiq’s Literary Symmetry
Bibliography Index of Names General Index
All interested in Islamic philosophy, theology and jurisprudence, intellectual history of the Mamluk period, Ibn Taymiyya and his teachings, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, the theological issues of divine attributes and anthropomorphism.
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