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Philosophy in the Islamic World

Volume 1: 8th-10th Centuries

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Edited by Ulrich Rudolph, Rotraud Hansberger and Peter Adamson

Philosophy in the Islamic World is a comprehensive and unprecedented four-volume reference work devoted to the history of philosophy in the realms of Islam, from its beginnings in the eighth century AD down to modern times. In the period covered by this first volume (eighth to tenth centuries), philosophy began to blossom thanks to the translation of Greek scientific works into Arabic and the emergence of autochthonous intellectual traditions within Islam. Both major and minor figures of the period are covered, giving details of biography and doctrine, as well as detailed lists and summaries of each author’s works. This is the English version of the relevant volume of the Ueberweg, the most authoritative German reference work on the history of philosophy ( Philosophie in der Islamischen Welt Band I: 8.–10. Jahrhundert., Basel: Schwabe, 2012).

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Edited by Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth

al-Radd al-jamīl attributed to al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) is the most extensive and detailed refutation of the divinity of Jesus by a Muslim author in the classical period of Islam. Since the discovery of the manuscript in the 1930’s scholars have debated whether the great Muslim theologian al-Ghazālī was really the author.

This is a new critical edition of the Arabic text and the first complete English translation. The introduction situates this work in the history of Muslim anti-Christian polemical writing. Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth argue that this refutation comes from an admirer of al-Ghazālī who sought to advance some of his key ideas for an Egyptian audience.

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Dorrit van Dalen

The seventeenth century was a period of major social change in central sudanic Africa. Islam spread from royal courts to rural communities, leading to new identities, new boundaries and new tasks for experts of the religion. Addressing these issues, the Bornu scholar Muḥammad al-Wālī acquired an exceptional reputation. Dorrit van Dalen’s study places him within his intellectual environment, and portrays him as responding to the concerns of ordinary Muslims. It shows that scholars on the geographical margins of the Muslim world participated in the debates in the centres of Muslim learning of the time, but on their own terms. Al-Wālī’s work also sheds light on a century in the Islamic history of West Africa that has until now received little attention.

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Edited by Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas

Acknowledged as a leading medical expert in his day, and secretary to a succession of caliphs in the mid-ninth century, the Nestorian Christian ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī converted to Islam around the age of 70. He then wrote Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā, a recantation of his former faith, and Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla, a defence of the Prophet Muḥammad based substantially on biblical proof-texts. The range of arguments he produced against the soundness of his former faith in these two works influenced sections of Islamic scholarship for many centuries.
These new editions and translations of his works are based on all the available evidence for the texts, accompanied by extensive introductions and studies of their place in Islamic thought.



11 Al-Ghazālī’s “Demarcation of Science”

A Commonplace Apology in the Muslim Reception of Modern Science—and Its Limitations

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Martin Riexinger

3 Problems in al-Ghazālī’s Perfect World

Objections and Counter-Objections to His Best Possible World Thesis

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Stephen R. Ogden