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Mit einer kritischen Edition des Kitāb al-Kifāya fī l-hidāya fī uṣūl ad-dīn des Aḥmad b. Maḥmūd b. Abī Bakr Nūr ad-Dīn aṣ-Ṣābūnī al-Ḥanafī al-Buḫārī (gest. 580/1184)
Nūr al-Dīn al-Ṣābūnī was a prominent jurist and theologian in Samarqand in the late 6th/12th century. His theological works are in the tradition of the Ḥanafite-Māturīdite current of Sunni kalām. In addition, al-Ṣābūnī’s argumentation reflects the increasing engagement of Māturīdite mutakallimūn with their wide intellectual-historical environment. His discussions with the famous scholar Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī are attested.
In the present volume, Angelika Brodersen uses a text-critical edition of al-Ṣābūnī’s comprehensive theological work, the Kitāb al-Kifāya fī l-hidāya fī uṣūl al-dīn, to analyze, based on selected thematic examples, how both elements of Māturīdite theological tradition and transformation processes occur in al-Ṣābūnī’s work, which contributed to the consolidation of the Māturīdiyya as a Sunni school of thought.

Nūr ad-Dīn aṣ-Ṣābūnī war ein prominenter Jurist und Theologe im Samarkand des ausgehenden 6./12. Jahrhunderts. Seine theologischen Werke stehen einerseits in der Tradition der ḥanafitisch-māturīditischen Strömung des sunnitischen kalāms. Auf der anderen Seite spiegelt aṣ-Ṣābūnīs Argumentation die zunehmende Auseinandersetzung der māturīditischen mutakallimūn mit ihrem allgemeinen geistesgeschichtlichen Umfeld wider. Bezeugt sind seine Diskussionen mit dem berühmten Gelehrten Faḫr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī.
Im vorliegenden Band untersucht Angelika Brodersen auf der Grundlage einer textkritischen Edition von aṣ-Ṣābūnīs theologischem Hauptwerk, dem Kitāb al-Kifāya fī l-hidāya fī uṣūl ad-dīn, anhand ausgewählter Themenbeispiele, wie sich im Werk aṣ-Ṣābūnīs sowohl Elemente māturīditischer theologischer Tradition als auch Transformationsprozesse verfolgen lassen, die zur Konsolidierung der Māturīdiyya als sunnitische Schulrichtung beigetragen haben.


This article is the first to focus on statements about ethical guidance in post-classical astronomy texts. A number of astronomers in post-classical Islamic societies remarked that the study of astronomy, specifically the mathematical analysis of the uniform motions of the celestial orbs, had ethical benefits. These astronomers’ statements are significant because, through them, scholars can learn more about the role of reason in Islamic thought and about sources of ethical guidance other than Sharīʿa and philosophical ethics. The details of the ethical guidance imparted by the study of astronomy tell us more about the relationship between astronomy and the disciplines of fiqh and kalām, respectively. The existence of ethical guidance in astronomy texts is additional evidence that post-classical astronomy texts were part of an Islamic intellectual tradition.

In: Oriens
Free access
In: Oriens
Author: Richard Todd


Although overshadowed by his celebrated commentaries on Ibn ʿArabī and Ibn al-Fāriḍ, Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī’s (d. 750/1351) treatise on the philosophy of time – the Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān (The Utmost Elucidation Concerning Knowledge of Time) – is a notable milestone in the history of Islamic conceptions of temporality. Composed around the start of Qayṣarī’s tenure as head of the first Ottoman madrasa, the Nihāyat al-bayān rejects the Aristotelian definition of time as the number of motion in favor of Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī’s concept of zamān as the measure of being. Challenging, likewise, portrayals of time as a flux or succession of fleeting instants, Qayṣarī propounds instead an absolutist vision of time as an integral, objectively existent whole. Qayṣarī’s reassessment of dominant medieval theories of temporality – including kalām atomism and the Neoplatonic distinction between time, perpetuity, and eternity – is thus shown to be a key early example of what was to become an abiding Ottoman interest in time and timekeeping.

Open Access
In: Oriens
Author: Agnieszka Erdt


The principle known as the possibility of the nobler (qāʿidat imkān al-ashraf) is arguably one of the most often employed principles in later Islamic philosophy. In its standard formulation it states that if something baser exists, a nobler thing must have existed prior to it. A similar argument from the degrees of perfections has had a long career in the history of Western philosophy as well, with its beginnings reaching Stoicism. In Christian theology and philosophy it serves most importantly as a proof for the existence of God in the so-called henological argument of Aquinas. In Islamic philosophy it directly derives from the ex uno non fit nisi unum principle. Since the formulation of its standard version by al-Suhrawardī, the validity of the principle has been conditioned on that it is only applicable to the intelligible beings, hence its main objective is to offer a proof for the existence of the intellects. The article analyzes the application of the principle in Ṣadrā’s philosophy and enquires about its historical roots.

In: Oriens


Abū l-Yusr al-Bazdawī (d. 493/1100) was a notable early Māturīdite theologian who made an important contribution to the formation of his school by embracing kalām and promoting the image of al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944) as a Sunnite leader when the science was not yet popular in his region of Transoxania. This produced some tension in his thought as he negotiated rationalist and traditionalist doctrines and their adherents. Indications of this are found in his discussion of God’s speech in which he argues for the Sunnite doctrine of eternal divine speech while effectively affirming the createdness of scriptures; at the same time, he defends those who assert the uncreatedness of the Quran and maintains that God’s speech is truly written, memorized, recited, and heard.

In: Oriens

In this episode, Dr. Ulrich Schmiedel and Dr. Joshua Ralston help listeners find answers to this question with respect to Europe and America through a discussion of their book The Spirit of Populism: Political Theologies in Polarized Times.