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Tianyi Zhang offers in this study an innovative philosophical reconstruction of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Suhrawardī’s (d. 1191) Illuminationism. Commonly portrayed as either a theosophist or an Avicennian in disguise, Suhrawardī appears here as an original and hardheaded philosopher who adopts mysticism as a tool for philosophical investigation.
Zhang makes use of Plato’s cave allegory to explain Suhrawardī’s Illuminationist project. Focusing on three areas—the theory of presential knowledge, the ontological discussion of mental considerations, and Light Metaphysics—Zhang convincingly reveals the Nominalist and Existential nature of Illuminationism and thereby proposes a new way of understanding how Suhrawardī’s central philosophical ideas cohere.
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Abstract

Maimonides (d. 1204) employs three different sets of terms for good and bad in his Guide of the Perplexed I, 2: one Hebrew set (from Gen. 3:5), ṭov and raʿ; and two Arabic sets, al-ḫayr and al-šarr, and al-ḥasan and al-qabīḥ. Guide I, 2 is one of the betterknown chapters of the book – one of the first chapters the beginning student of the Guide encounters and one whose important teachings have been the subject of many valuable studies. Curiously, leading translators and scholars do not see any meaningful distinction between the two sets of Arabic terms despite Maimonides’ well-known declaration that “the diction of this Treatise has not been chosen at haphazard” (see below, n. 19). This article seeks to understand and explain why Maimonides employs two different sets of Arabic terms here for the concepts of good and bad, with special focus on qabīḥ, a key term for him in this chapter and in others in the book.

In: Oriens

Abstract

The first part of our inquiry on Syriac love charms was devoted to the recipe-type charms. This article edits four more Syriac love charms, which we attribute to the so-called prayer-type. The special features of this type of Syriac love charms are addressed and compared with that of the recipe-type texts, edited in Part I. The commentary to each text provides philological notes and parallels, both from within and outside of Syriac magical tradition.

In: Scrinium

Abstract

It is commonly accepted that the definition of knowledge is not among the main epistemological concerns of the period between Plato and Edmund Gettier. Kalām is an exception to the rule. Kalām scholars provide a detailed philosophical analysis of the difference between knowledge and mere true belief. In this article, I am focusing on the analysis of knowledge in one tradition of kalām, Bahšamite Muʿtazilism. I will argue that knowledge is a factive mental state for the Bahšamites. I will also show that the Bahšamite definition of knowledge is a combination of internalism and externalism with respect to justification.

Open Access
In: Oriens
Author:

Abstract

This article discusses the Ašʿarī theologian Saʿd al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī’s (d. 793/1390) refutation of Akbarian metaphysics and the identification of absolute being (al-wuǧūd al-muṭlaq) with the Necessary Being, i.e. God, in his summa Šarḥ al-Maqāṣid. Al-Taftāzānī argues that the Akbarians are amateur philosophers who misappropriated the philosophical tradition. If absolute being were identified with God, we would not be able to say that anything else is, leading to monism. Instead al-Taftāzānī argues that absolute being is a mind-dependent concept. Al-Taftāzānī’s refutation reveals the contested nature of the Avicennan legacy and the important role of the Akbarian school in its development.

In: Oriens