Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran, Ata Anzali and S. M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript that is arguably the most erudite and extensive polemical work against philosophy and philosophical mysticism from the Safavid period. The introduction offers an extensive and in-depth analysis of the status of philosophy in the late Safavid period, placing Mulla Muhammad-Tahir Qummi’s (d. 1689) work in the broader context of the relevant cultural and intellectual developments of his time.
The content of
Hikmat al-‘arifin itself is divided between a refutation of many traditional philosophical arguments about the nature of God and His attributes and, more importantly for those interested in Safavid intellectual history, attacks on Mulla Sadra and his students for synthesizing fundamental elements Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought into the framework of traditional philosophical discourse.
In this volume, Gabriella Elgrably-Berzin offers an analysis of the fourteenth-century Hebrew translation of a major eleventh-century philosophical text: Avicenna’s
Kitāb al-Najāt (The Book of Salvation), focusing on the psychology treatise on physics. The translator of this work was Ṭodros Ṭodrosi, the main Hebrew translator of Avicenna’s philosophical writings. This study includes a critical edition of Ṭodrosi’s translation, based on two manuscripts as compared to the Arabic edition (Cairo, 1938), and an appendix featuring the section on metaphysics. By analyzing Ṭodrosi’s language and terminology and making his Hebrew translation available for the first time, Berzin’s study will help enable scholars to trace the borrowings from Todrosi’s translations in Jewish sources, shedding light on the transmission and impact of Avicenna’s philosophy.